Heavy rain warning - flooding advice and information
Date published: 20 September 2017
Heavy rain has been forecast for some areas. You can find advice below about how to prepare for any potential localised flooding. It might be useful to take note of the Flooding Incident Line - 0300 2000 100. There is also information about what to do if your house does suffer flood damage.
Preparing for a flood
To help reduce the impact of flooding on your home, you should:
- have some sandbags or floodboards or plastic covers prepared to block doorways and airbricks
- know where to turn off your electricity and/ or gas
- move your valuable possessions to safety
- ensure your insurance provides cover against flood damage to property
- keep a list of useful contact numbers such as your local council, emergency services and your insurance company
You can get more details on the preparing for a flood page.
Flooding Incident Line - 0300 2000 100
The Flooding Incident Line is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can report flooding problems on roads or burst water mains and blocked drains.
When you ring the flooding incident line, a member of staff will:
- take all your details
- contact the appropriate agency on your behalf
This is a non emergency number, so if you are in danger, call the emergency services on 999.
You can get more information about flooding at the following link:
Driving and walking in flooded areas
Do not travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely necessary.
In flooded areas, drivers should not:
- enter flood water that is moving or is more than four inches deep
- under any circumstances, drive through fast-flowing water as the car could be swept away
In more shallow but passable water:
- slow down
- avoid creating bow waves which can damage your car engine; and
- remember to test the brakes after leaving the water
Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as:
- open drains
- damaged road surfaces
- submerged debris; or
- deep channels which can result in serious injury or, in the worst cases, death
If you do become stranded in flood water and you feel there is a risk to life, dial 999 for emergency assistance.
Traffic and travel
If there are any problems on the roads as a result of flooding, you can get the latest updates on the TrafficwatchNI website.
Insurance claims after a flood
If you are going to report flood damage to your insurance company there are certain things to remember. You should keep a record of the flood damage and any contact you have with the insurance company.
If you have different insurers for the structure of your home and your content, make sure you contact them both.
If you live in rented accommodation, the landlord will deal with the structure of your home. For content claims, contact your own insurer.
You can find out more at this page:
Risks related to flooding
Be aware of hidden dangers under the water, such as missing manhole covers, and guard against the possibility of falling into fast-flowing water.
The risk of becoming ill after contact with flood water is generally low. However, as it is not always clear whether flood water is contaminated, you should assume that it is and take appropriate precautions.
Preventing health problems
There are a number of things you can do to prevent health problems if your home floods:
- wherever possible try to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater
- do not let children play in floodwater
- use rubber gloves when cleaning up
- wash hands after being in contact with flood water, sewage or anything contaminated by these
- wash children’s hands regularly
- clean toys that have been in flood water with disinfectant
- cover cuts or open sores
- don’t eat any food that has been in contact with floodwater
- clean all surfaces with disinfectant before any food is placed on them
Contact your GP if you, or someone you know, develops a stomach upset following flooding.
More useful links
- What to do if a flood happens
- Local councils
- Rivers and flooding
- Northern Ireland weather - Met Office
- Be ready for emergencies
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