After a flood

Returning to your home or business when it has been damaged by a flood can be very traumatic. These practical steps can help you to recover.

First steps

  • take care as there may be hidden dangers in the flood water and it could be contaminated
  • contact your insurance company and follow their advice. It’s likely they will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy, and may arrange a skip for the disposal of damaged items
  • if you rent your property, contact your landlord and contents insurer
  • if you do not have insurance, contact your district council for assistance

Cleaning up

  • flood water is likely to be contaminated, always wear waterproof gloves and clothing
  • contact a qualified electrician / gas engineer to check that it is safe to turn supplies back on. Don’t touch sources of electricity when stood in flood water
  • once it has been checked by an engineer, turn on your central heating to aid drying
  • ordinary household products can be used to clean your property. Check with your insurance company as they may hire a company to do this for you
  • district councils may provide skips and extra rubbish collections. Your insurer may also provide a skip
  • see information about cleaning up your garden [PDF]
  • contact your home insurance for assistance in pumping flood water from your property

Recording damage

It is important for flood investigations and insurance purposes that you make a note of the damage to your property. It is advised that you:

  • mark on the wall the height the flood water reached in each room
  • photograph or video the flood water and damage
  • make a list of the damage to your property and belongings

Keep a note of all correspondence with insurance companies and any other organisations that are assisting you.


A flood that has affected your or your community can be traumatic. Do not overdo it when cleaning up, and remember that tiredness, difficulty sleeping and anxiety are normal in these circumstances. 

To help support you, your family and friends in the aftermath of a flood, consider the following:

  • we will help you and your community recover after a flood, information and support services established in response to the flooding will be advertised locally
  • you may be eligible for flood grants/support schemes, these are likely to be advertised by your district council
  • join a community meeting/group to share your experiences with those who understand what you are going through
  • if you are concerned about your, or a family members, mental health or any other health issue make an appointment with your GP
  • if you are finding it difficult to cope and want to talk with someone the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day: 08457 90 90 90

Notify us

As the Lead Flood Authority, we may be able to carry out a flood investigation to identify why your property/community has flooded, and if this could be prevented in the future.

Provide any details of property flooding, including photographs, to the Flood Risk Team:
Report flooding
Telephone: 0300 500 80 80

Preparing for flooding in the future

To help give you peace of mind and to protect your property and family, consider how you can prepare for flooding in the future.

There are things you can do while repairing your property that will make it easier and cheaper to clean up after a future flood. Discuss protection measures with your builder and loss adjuster.

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