Millions of people in the UK live and work in areas at risk from flooding.
It’s important that you know the risk of flooding in your area, prepare where necessary & act safely if flooding occurs.
In both 2019 and 2020, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service worked in response to flooding in the Calder Valley and Wharfe Valley areas, as well as supporting South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue with the response to widespread flooding in November.
Our advice is to keep up to date with flood warnings, via the The Environment Agency (Yorkshire and North East), Met Office weather updates, local authority websites & the Eye on Calderdale website.
Take these steps before, during and after floods to help keep you and your family safe.
- Register for local flood warnings. You can get updates from local radio and TV news. The government also provides a 5 day flood risk forecast.
- Prepare an emergency kit.
- Get insurance. Find lower-cost home insurance through Flood Re if you’re in a flood-risk area & get insurance advice from the National Flood Forum
- When a flood strikes, sandbags and sand from builders’ merchants will be in high demand. They can be used as a barrier to divert water and prevent or reduce floodwater damage. Buy sand and sandbags in advance.
- Take photographs inside your home. This may help with insurance claims.
If you’re about to be flooded
- If there’s a risk of flooding, let your neighbours know. Also tell older and vulnerable people who live nearby.
- Move vehicles to higher ground so they won’t be caught in rising floodwater.
- Turn off the mains power before you leave. You can be electrocuted in floodwater if the power remains switched on.
- Put sandbags in toilet bowls to prevent sewage backflow.
- Shut and lock all windows and doors. This will protect your property, and may reduce the volume of floodwater entering the building.
- Take all pets with you when you leave so they aren’t trapped by rising water.
- Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over. Two feet of water can float a car.
- Don’t walk on riverbanks or canal banks.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage. If you’re exposed, wash your hands and clothes thoroughly in clean water.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near floodwater.
- Need to leave your home and have nowhere to stay? Your local council will help. Initially, you may be housed in an emergency shelter. But if you cannot return home for a long period, your council can help you find something more suitable.
- Dispose of any contaminated items that may have been in floodwater.
- Boil tap water or use bottled water until supplies are declared safe.
- Flooding is a stressful experience. If you need support, call NHS 111 by dialling 111. They’ll tell you about crisis support services.
- Take photographs of your home for help with insurance claims.
- Dispose of sandbags at your local tip.
For further details, visit: The Environment Agency