How to create your Personal Flood Plan.
It’s been raining forever. The local streams are bursting their banks. Suddenly there’s water lapping at the entrance door. What do I do now? Activate your Personal Flood Plan!
As the name implies, your Personal Flood Plan is personal to you and your family or business so it will be bespoke to your needs. That said, it should contain some generic information too. Having already thought through flooding scenarios for your property (including surface water) and readied any necessary resources, you will minimise the impact any flood will have on your home and wellbeing. You may even get reduced premiums from your home and contents insurance company as acknowledgement of your preparedness - but no promises here.
There are 3 main sections to any Flood Plan:
1. A list of local and utility contacts along with where to isolate incoming utilities.
Electricity doesn’t like water so this should be the first utility to be isolated, followed by gas and finally, water. So know where these isolation points are and ensure other occupants of the building do too. Your contacts list will enable you to stay informed whilst reassuring close family that you’re okay. In serious cases of flooding, knowing your insurance details will get the ball rolling quicker.
2. A list of where flooding information might be had – often referred to as ‘triggers’
Listening to the local radio and watching TV weather forecasts will let you know how serious things are and allow you to act accordingly. The Environment Agency has river level monitors all over the country that can be accessed via the internet. This is an example of one on the River Ouse at Nether Poppleton, upstream from York. As you can see there’s a wealth of information contained on this regularly updated page. If you live in an area at risk of flooding from a nearby river or the sea, the Agency even have a Flood Warning service from which you can receive free emails or a text message day or night for your home or business.
3. An action plan dependant on the warning level that’s announced.
The various levels of warnings demand different courses of action and a flowchart or decision tree with these depicted will be invaluable in your time of need. The Environment Agency has an online Personal Flood Plan app here. It’s a brilliant app but doesn’t have the flowchart.
The Environment Agency's warning levels
So when all around you are splashing about with little coordination and a lot of panic, you’ll be completely prepared, know what action to take and be able to minimise the impact of the flood on your family or business.
- Know your risk
- Be Prepared
- Have a Plan