What to do when extreme weather hits


People across the Yorkshire and Lancashire regions are still counting the heavy and particularly devastating cost of Storm Frank. What’s more as weather within the UK becomes ever more unpredictable, and as the issue of climate change is seemingly promising a future of storms, the areas affected by flooding may well go far beyond past flood plains. With this in mind it pays to be informed should a flood affect your property and here we present a straight forward guide to dealing with a flooded house with as little stress as possible.


What to do during a flood

First and foremost you should always put your, and your families, safety before that of your property. The Environmental Agency further stresses that it’s vital to follow the instructions of the emergency services and, should they tell you to evict, to do so immediately.

Beyond your immediate safety however, and if it’s safe to do so, here are the steps you take when a flood emergency is declared:

1. Collect all of your essential items and store them either upstairs or within a high place above the ground (keep emergency items such as torches, waterproof clothing, first aid kits and medication close by).

2. Store fresh, clean water in bottles;

3. Stay upstairs, or in a high place, along with your family and pets, being sure that there is a safe exit;

4. Turn off all gas, electric and water supplies (this ensures that if and when water enters your home, it is safe);

5. It’s vital that you do not touch any electrical items if you’re standing within water;

6. Keep abreast of changes in the flood conditions by watching the TV, listing to the radio or calling the Environment Agency Flood line on 0845 988 1188.

Dealing with insurance companies

Whilst insurance companies invariably get a bad rap for being less than helpful when processing claims the reality can be somewhat different. Within the most recent storm hit areas insurance representatives have been sent directly to the sites that have been affected to help clients in their claims and the immediate steps that must be taken in the aftermath of the storm. Nevertheless you do need to protect yourself, and any potential claim that you may consequently make, by taking the following steps should your home be hit by a flood.

What to do after a flood:

1. Call your buildings and contents insurer as soon as you are safely able to so following the flood.

2. When returning to your property be aware that there may be hidden dangers under the flood water, such as sharp items, pollution or structural damage. Your insurer may help provide advice upon this.

3. Photograph every part of your home, and take close ups of any items that have been damaged.

4. If you need to seek shelter whilst your home is cleaned, repaired and made safe once more then the official guidance from the National Flood Forum is to ensure that it’s reasonable and realistic – otherwise you may not be fully reimbursed for your expenses.

5. Be aware that for many properties the period for extensive damage to be repaired, and for the home to be deemed fit for habitation, may be between six and nine months.

6. You may be required to stay in your home until your insurer’s loss adjustor arrives. During this time you should make a list of damaged items, remove valuables with rubber gloves and photograph everything prior to it being moved.

7. Be aware that your insurers will determine whether your property requires a professional cleaning and repair company to deal with the damage left by the flood. They may also hire ‘strip out’ contractors if the damage is significant to remove, replace and repair walls, floors and goods. This may extend to include your kitchen as well as your home’s electrical fittings.

8. Following any visits from the loss adjustors, and having had advice from the insurer, you may be required to undertake parts of the clean-up yourself.
Our 1 Tonne Waste bag is perfect for handling waste and refuse caused by the havoc of a flood, and it provides for a practical option where the bag is both delivered and picked up direct from your door – saving you from that visit to the local tip and making for one less thing to do following a flood.


Tackling roof damage

Whilst building insurance policies cover homes for ‘storm damage’ you must be aware that the policy may not provide a comprehensive description as to what is defined as a storm. If you’ve suffered from the effects of a flood then the chances are that you’ve most certainly encountered the high levels of rain that can be considered as a storm, however some insurers have further demands upon their definition, such as a certain wind speed.

The condition of your property: An important point

It’s vital that homeowners are aware of the fact that the condition of a property, and its roof, may well render a claim null and void, even where a storm has been inarguably experienced.

In any event it’s essential that you sound your insurer out once you’re aware of any roof damage. They can advise you in the first instance, and beyond this independent advisories can intervene and advise if you’re unhappy with the response. Such bodies include the National Flood Forum, the Environmental Agency and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.


If your property has been affected by the recent floods leaving you with large amounts of water damaged waste then give us a call today. We offer a range of different waste disposal services including assisted waste removal, where we will actually remove the waste from source for you, leaving you to deal with more pressing matters.