Reduce your risk | Stay safe and help us all stay ahead How to reduce the risk of flood damage

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How to prepare for flood damage

If you decide your property is at risk of flooding, the next step is to put a plan in place to protect you against flood damage. There are a wide range of flood protection products available, which are all far more effective than relying on sandbags! These include products to prevent water coming through airbricks and doorways, toilet bungs and a ‘pump in a sump’ that you can use to prevent flood damage from rising water levels coming up through your floors. It is well worth looking through these ranges of products and selecting those that seem most relevant to your own situation. It is advisable to only fit BSI Kitemark accredited flood defence solutions as these are the preferred choice of most insurers, including Cornish Mutual.

As well as flood protection products, there are many other alterations you may want to consider at your home or business, which whilst not flood prevention measures, would help avert or reduce the effect of flood damage. These include:

  • laying ceramic tiles on the ground floor
  • using rugs instead of fitted carpets
  • raising the height of electrical sockets to well above flood level
  • fitting stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens instead of chipboard ones
  • installing free-standing kitchen units that you can move
  • putting main parts of a heating or ventilation system, like a boiler, upstairs or raised well above flood level, but do take professional advice before relocating any heating or ventilation equipment
  • fitting non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes, which only let water flow one way
  • making sure TVs and any other valuables are on a high shelf or fitted to the wall

If you are at imminent risk of flooding

As well as long term preventative measures like these suggested above, you will also need to have in mind a last minute plan, if you are concerned you may be at imminent risk of flooding.

Sandbags protect a home from flooding

  • Have to hand a list of useful contact numbers such as your local council, emergency services and Cornish Mutual.
  • Take a photo of your property and belongings to show what everything is like now, before there is any flood damage.
  • Agree a plan with those who live with you how you will contact each other and where you will go if you become separated during a flood.
  • Move your valuable possessions to safety.
  • Know where to turn off your electricity and/or gas.
  • Use sandbags or floorboards or plastic covers to block doorways and airbricks, if you do not have any other specific flood prevention products in place.
  • Decide where to leave your car to keep it safe from flooding
  • Put together a Flood Kit ‘Grab Bag’ that includes all the things you will need to have to hand, if you move upstairs or are evacuated from your home. This could include, for example, insurance documents and other important documents, mobile phones and chargers, emergency cash and credit cards, torch with spare batteries, prescription medication and any essentials for children and pets.