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11 February 2014
Flooding Advice

Bedford BC has the following advice on flooding
Before a flood

Prepare a flood kit:
Pack a small bag with essential belongings and include warm clothes, torch (check batteries), radio
(wind-up or battery powered), food, water, other drink, mobile phone (input useful numbers in advance),
any medicines that you may need to take, any important documents that you have and a first-aid kit.
Keep this bag easily accessible.
 Collect personal belongings together, including insurance and bank details and essential telephone
numbers, and keep them in a waterproof bag.
 Move people, pets, valuables and sentimental items upstairs or to a high place downstairs.
 Keep a separate list of useful telephone numbers to hand (this should include your local council,
your insurance company and Floodline – 0845 988 188).
 Find out where and how to turn off your gas and electricity. Ensure that you switch it off before
evacuating your home if flooding is imminent.
 If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.
 Any furniture that you cannot move upstairs, try to raise well off the floor.
 Alert neighbours and assist the elderly, infirm and those with small children.
 Block doorways and air bricks.
 Avoid walking and driving through floodwater; there could be hidden hazards.
 Keep up to date with local radio for further information and announcements and via Floodline 0845
988 1188.
During a flood
 Continue to listen to situation updates on your local radio and via Floodline 0845 988 1188.
 Keep dry and out of floodwater if possible
 Stay in your property, if safe to do so, until the emergency services tell you to do otherwise or the
floodwater has receded.
 Do not walk or drive through flowing floodwater.
 If it is necessary to walk through shallow floodwater, take care for hidden holes, obstacles or other
 Do not walk on river banks or sea defences or cross bridges over torrential rivers.
 Avoid contact with floodwater and wash any exposed parts before handling food or attending to
 If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.
If evacuation becomes necessary
 Stay calm and do not panic.
 Police officers or other officials (or both) will try to visit all properties at risk, to tell you if you need to
 If road conditions permit, move vehicles to unaffected areas and ask friends/family if you can share
their parking facilities.
 You will hear about your evacuation point for transport and the location of the reception centre
either verbally or by a leaflet.
 Try to check that any elderly/vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation.
 Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave a property.
After a flood/returning home
 Contact your insurers as soon as possible and follow their advice. Most insurers have a 24-hour
helpline. Do not throw away damaged goods until your insurer has authorised you to do so. It is a
good idea to take photographs of the damage.
 Check the safety of electricity and gas before use. A qualified electrician needs to check any
electrical equipment and circuits that have been exposed to floodwater.
 Avoid contact with any remaining floodwater or items that have had contact with floodwater unless
wearing protective gloves/clothing.
 Boil all tap water until it is declared safe by the water-supply company.
 Wash your and your children’s hands frequently with bottled water if your supply has not been
declared fit for use. Disinfect any children’s toys.
 Dispose of any contaminated food, including tinned, defrosted and packaged foods that have been
exposed to floodwater.
 Seek medical assistance if any health issues appear, especially flu-like symptoms.
 Ventilate your property but keep security in mind.
 Do not throw rubbish and furniture outdoors; wait for an organised collection.
 During these hard times, bogus or cowboy builders and traders often offer their services. Make
sure you get a written quotation that is on letter-headed paper with a landline contact number and

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