Floods are looming, are you ready?
With the Met office issuing warnings up and down the country, many parts of the UK are at high risk of flood. High tides and strong winds have led to flooding in Wales and south-west England and there are currently nine severe flood warnings – meaning “danger to life” – for Gloucestershire, Dorset and Wales.
There are several things you can do to make sure you’re as well prepared as possible should the famous British drizzle turn more sinister. The most important thing any homeowner can do is ensure you have adequate insurance.
Check your building and contents policy to make sure that you’re covered for floods, and if you’re not, have a word with your current provider about adding it.
Our top tips for things to help protect against flooding are:
- Keep valuables upstairs as much as possible. It may sound obvious but keeping photos and other keepsakes as well as modern day essentials like mobile phones and laptops upstairs can make a huge difference should you have a major flood.
- Consider backing up important data to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive. That way, even if your hard drive is swimming away you’ll have your files safe and sound.
- Cover any ventilation bricks with specially designed covers.
- Make sure your gutters are regularly cleared and that the downspouts aren’t depositing water too close to the house.
- Pack an emergency bag with some tins of food, a torch and some cash and keep it somewhere high up but easily remembered. Sometimes the best thing you can do is get out quick, and having a bag with the essentials can reduce panic in a time of stress.
For those of you living in particularly high risk areas, also consider investing in some flood protection items. This can range from sandbags to state-of-the-art drainage systems; however bear in mind prices vary.
Here are some top tips to keep you safe when travelling to avoid disasters in these adverse conditions:
- Make sure your windscreen wipers aren’t worn or damaged – and working properly.
- Make sure your lights, including your fog lights are working properly.
- Double the distance between you and the car in front – your stopping distance in wet weather is longer.
- Don’t drive fast through standing water – you could lose steering control.
- If you break down in the rain, don’t leave your bonnet open while waiting for the breakdown service – a damp engine is harder to start again.
- If you can’t see the road, you don’t know how deep the water is. Drive slowly through deeper water and use a lower gear to keep your revs high.
- Don’t drive over bridges or fords where there is a danger that your vehicle could be washed away or hit by other objects in the flowing water.
Alongside this ensure that you have enough petrol for your journey and mobile phone is full charged. Don’t forget to have a warm change of clothes aswell as details of your breakdown recovery provider just in case.
In summary, there are a variety of tips here to keep yourself, property, and car and safe this winter, but don’t forget the best protection of all is having the correct policy in place to deal with the unexpected.