Advice to Flood Affected Householders
The following advice is being given to householders returning to their homes following flooding:
Ask For Help And Advice
Before you start, don’t feel that you have to deal with this on your own, therefore ask for help and advice.
Safety Is Paramount
Ensure it is safe to enter your property. Local authority officers are available if you need advice on this.
Engage a professional to deal with any gas, electrical, plumbing or structural work.
Do not switch on electrical appliances that have been in contact with floodwater unless they have been checked out by a competent electrician and any person who conducts work on gas appliances and services has to be 'Gas Safe' registered.
You should exercise caution if approached by unknown tradesmen who suddenly appear on their doorstep offering to carry out remedial work to your home. A genuine tradesman will always provide you with written details of the work that needs to be carried out and will provide you with details of your right to cancel the contract you are entering into along with details of his home or business address. Whilst it can be tempting to accept an offer to immediately rectify a difficult situation; in most cases it is time well spent seeking the advice of neighbours and family or your insurance company in relation to reputable building contractors. Please be aware that your insurance company might insist on you using one of their approved tradesmen in order to process your claim.
Be Aware Of Health Risks
Before entering your property, ensure you are aware of health risks as flood water is often contaminated and, even if it appears ‘clean’, it may include bacteria that can cause illness. If you do feel unwell, ensure you visit your GP as soon as possible. Use gloves and overalls before starting any clean-up. Personal hygiene including washing hands and covering cuts or scratches is very important.
Gather Tools And Equipment
For cleaning, ensure you have enough tools and equipment such as brooms, scrubbing brushes, mops, buckets, detergent and disinfectant, rubber gloves, face mask and overalls. Do not mix detergents with bleaches, but ensure you use plenty of clean water.
Take Pictures Of Your Property And Any Damaged Possessions. Keep A Record Of The Damage And Any Action Taken.
This includes writing down a description of the overall state of the property, marking off high water points, making a list of damaged items and condition.
Remove Standing Water And Mud Where Possible
Remove saturated carpets, rugs and furnishings. Protect furniture and possessions from further damage by removing to a higher level where possible. Plastic bags should be placed under the legs of wooden furniture to avoid further water being absorbed.
Clothing And Bedding
Wash these and other soft fabric articles such as children’s toys on a hot cycle (60 degrees or higher), which will destroy most germs that may be present. Wash all clothes worn cleaning up separately to uncontaminated clothes.
Food Preparation And Storage
Don’t eat any food that has been in contact with any flood water. Ensure that all surfaces and equipment, pots, pans and cutlery that food will come into contact with have been cleaned using hot tap water and detergent (washing up liquid) and sanitised (using a food safe spray sanitiser available at the supermarket). If work tops show signs of damage do not use.
Frozen food that is at ambient temperature for a few hours should be thrown away. Put contaminated food into black plastic refuse sacks and put out when your next collection is due. Check with your insurers before disposal.
Don’t be tempted to use food that has been in contact with flood water, even tins may pose a health risk if they have been contaminated with sewage.
Don't eat garden or allotment produce that has been in contact with flood water.
Any areas showing signs of mould should be treated with a fungicidal solution
Dry With Care
Open windows and doors to assist drying. Do not attempt to dry out property with the use of central heating or other heating appliances. Do not use diesel or petrol generators indoors. Be aware that a combination of heat and damp can cause further damage and can encourage mould growth.
If you would like any further advice or guidance please do not hesitate to contact the Ceredigion County Council contact centre on 01545 570881 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Health Wales has advice to help clean up safely:
Information From Natural Resources Wales
Find out if you’re at risk from river or coastal flooding now or in the next few days:
River Levels Online
Use the river level map to check river levels near you:
Learn about your flood risk and what to do during a flood, including how to sign up for flood alerts:
Ceredigion Tide Tables
From the Ceredigion Tourism website: