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Floods and water

Recovering after a flood

If your property does flood, it's important to know how to get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

What to do first

Don't enter your house until all flood water has been removed. 

Leicestershire Fire & Rescue may be able to help you with pumping flood water out of your property. If other people are affected or need emergency assistance, you may need to wait for this help.

If nearby traffic is causing further flooding to your property by creating waves, contact Leicestershire Police by calling 101.

If flooding is being caused by a public sewer, contact the water supplier for your area: 

You can find information about flooding caused by road gullies on our Flooding and Drainage page. Please remember that gullies can sometimes appear blocked. However, gullies can only drain if water levels in local watercourses are low enough.

Cleaning up

You may a lot of cleaning up to do, depending on the extent flooding in your home or business.

Try to remember the following:

  • put on protective clothing before starting any clean-up and wear rubber gloves to move objects or clean surfaces that have been in contact with flood water. They will be contaminated with sewage and other pollution

  • take photos of property for your insurers and don't dispose of damaged goods until insurers have said whether they want to inspect them

  • get a qualified plumber and electrician to reconnect appliances

  • don't use electrical equipment that has been exposed to flood water until checked by a qualified electrician

  • make sure floorboards or damaged tiled floors are fully repaired as flood water may create sharp edges around tiles or raise nails in the floorboards

  • dehumidifiers can be used to collect moisture from the air and can help to dry your property. Water is collected in the dehumidifier and can be disposed of down regular water drains and sinks

  • ventilate your house as much as you can after flooding. Less damp means less damage

  • remove all soft furnishings and fittings that are damaged beyond repair from the property

  • remove dirty water and silt from the property, including the space under the ground floor if you have wooden floors

  • wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water and a domestic disinfectant

  • any clothing, bedding and other fabrics you want to keep should be washed at the highest temperature possible

  • other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot be put in a washing machine will have to be professionally cleaned if you want to keep them

  • seek professional advice from a structural engineer if your property is damaged

  • beware of scammers. Only use registered tradespersons and use a bulky waste collection service if you need help to dispose of large items

Insurance

Check your insurance policy and contact your insurance company immediately. 

The majority of household policies provide insurance cover for flooding. If you're a tenant and have taken out contents insurance, household contents, fixtures and fittings should be covered.

It is normally the responsibility of your landlord to provide building insurance.

If you are uninsured, you will most likely be responsible for covering all costs of flood damage. 

Remember to keep records of flood damage and photograph any goods or furniture before disposing of them.

It's worth speaking to a number of insurers to check what cover they can offer.

It may also  be worth looking at Flood Re, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable.

Floods and Water Guide - Link - Flood RE
Floods and Water Guide - Text - After flooding food, medication, support

Food preparation and storage

Get rid of any food that has been covered by or come into contact with flood water.

All surfaces and cooking or eating utensils should be cleaned with food-safe disinfectants. Avoid food contact with worktops and other areas that show signs of damage.

If your fridge has been affected by flood water, make sure it is also cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.

All crockery, pots and pans should be thoroughly washed and rinsed with hot soapy water before using. You could use a food safe disinfectant to sanitise them after cleaning.

Frozen food that has been at ambient temperature for a few hours should be disposed of. Check with insurers before disposal.

Don't eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been covered by sewerage or flood water and don't be tempted to try and salvage damaged food. This includes any food in tins as they may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left from the flood water.

You can find more food advice on the Food Standards Agency website.

Medication

If you need an emergency prescription outside of your GP practice’s normal opening hours, you should complete an emergency medicine request through NHS111 online or call 111 to discuss options.

If you require antibiotics or controlled drugs, you will need to contact your GP practice.

Emotional support

If you need any support after a flooding incident, British Red Cross volunteers can provide free and confidential emotional support and signposting to local services. Call:  0808 196 3651

You can also get support through recognised charities like The Samaritans.

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