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How to prepare for and deal with flooding

The Braintree District has been affected by significant flooding in the past, notably river and surface water flooding. That's why it's important to be as prepared as possible for flooding.

How to prepare for flooding

If you know you live in a flood area you should prepare for flooding by:

If a flood is imminent and it is safe to do so, you should:

  • Move valuable items and documents to a high location (upstairs) if possible
  • Remove items from the front or back garden that could cause more damage if carried away by flood water
  • Deploy any purchased flood protection products
  • Move any cars to higher ground to avoid floodwater
  • Switch off utilities at the mains

What to do during a flood

During a flood situation it is important that you:

  • Do not try to drive through floodwater, avoid driving if possible
  • Do not walk through floodwater
  • Ensure that valuable items and documents are stored in a high location (upstairs) if possible
  • Listen to the advice of the emergency services if they are operating within your area
  • Turn off all utilities in your home if evacuated by the Police

The Council does not have a statutory duty to provide residents with sandbags during a flooding incident. It is the homeowner's or landlord's responsibility to protect their property. Flood defence products e.g. Floodsax or similar products, airbrick covers, can be purchased at builders merchants or DIY stores.  See Blue Pages for a list of products. 

What to do after a flood if your home has been affected

A flood in your home can be a traumatic and stressful experience. When the floodwater has gone there is the additional distress of cleaning your property and repairing the damage it has caused.

After a flood situation it is important that you:

  • Assume that any floodwater has been contaminated with sewage
  • Find out if it is safe to return to your property, especially if you suspect there may be structural damage
  • Do not eat any food that has come into contact with floodwater (including canned food)
  • Drink bottled water until your water provider has given the all clear on the quality of your supply
  • Take pictures of everything in your home affected by flooding, mark the water levels on the walls for reference and make a list of items that have been damaged. This information will be crucial if you submit an insurance claim

If you had not planned for it in the past, put together a personal flood plan so you are ready next time