Unfortunately, flooding is a force of nature and preventing it from happening is impossible.
We have a limited capacity to work with local residents and other partners to investigate any ways in which we can reduce the probability of the worst or most frequent flooding. However, in many cases, prevention is impossible.
We urge you to consider personal resilience as your first defence against the possibility of flooding. Personal resilience involves protecting your home so that if a flood happens, damage is limited and you can get back to living in your home again in the shortest possible time after flooding.
Keeping flood water out of your property
The first step to consider is ways of keeping flood water out of your property. Or at least reducing the speed of which water enters your home to give you more time to move people and belongings to safety.
Water can enter a property via doorways, windows, air bricks or as groundwater through floors. You can prevent the entry of water by making sandbag walls on doorways using sandbags or other products that may be more effective.
Details of products can be found by contacting the National Flood Forum or by using the Flood Forum's Blue Pages Directory.
It's unsafe to hold back more than around 0.9m flood water from your property, as the pressure on walls from this can damage the main structure of the building.
Limiting the potential damage to your property and possessions
The second key part of flood resilience is limiting the potential damage to your property and possessions should flood water enter the property.
This includes having water resistant flooring such as concrete or tiled floors and water resistant and easily disinfected kitchen surfaces.
You may also wish to move plug sockets to a higher location on the wall to minimise the risk of damage and stick to lightweight and very mobile furniture. These are just a few examples of measures you can take.
Taking time to build up your own personal resilience to flooding can:
- reduce the damage and disruption caused by a flood
- reduce the time you remain out of your home after a flood
- limit the cost of repairs following a flood by up to 80% (source: Aviva)
- reduce the cost of insurance, or make sure your property continues to be insured
- provide protection from flood waters often without spending much more than the cost of standard home repairs
- increase your peace of mind during heavy rainfall
For more advice, contact the National Flood Forum.