As we’ve seen over the last few days, the start of the year normally coincides with a hefty increase in rainfall. Apart from being a miserable start to the year, heavy rain resulted in severe flooding across England and Wales this time last year.
Being the victim of flooding can be heart-breaking for homeowners and tenants as well as being costly and inconvenient. These extreme weather conditions can cause serious damage to your home and any properties you let out.
Here are some useful tips to help you and your tenants prepare if your property’s in an area that’s likely to flood:
- Protect valuables – If flash foods are forecast, your tenants will want to prevent valuable items and documents from getting damaged. Suggest that they place them in waterproof bags, and store them upstairs or in high places
- Use the loft – For items that they don't use very often, tenants can store them in the loft, providing it’s safe to do so
- Know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water mains supplies – Tenants may have to do this in the dark, so make sure they keep a torch and spare batteries in a place where they can easily find them
- Prepare water barriers – Use sandbags, vent guards or other flood protection to help keep water out, make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them. In an emergency you can make a DIY sandbag by filling a pillowcase with sand or earth
- Make an evacuation plan – If tenants need to evacuate the property, make sure they have a plan of where to go. It's also important to check that their chosen route will be passable
- Be prepared – Prepare a flood kit containing items such as a broom, spade, mop and bucket; domestic detergent and disinfectant; rubber boots, gloves and protective clothing; waterproof torch and radio; bottled water for drinking
- Get first warning – Sign up for Floodline Warnings by calling on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.