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Flooding and How You Can Reduce Damage

19 July 2012

What do you think will be the underlying memory for people when they think of Summer 2012? The Queens Jubilee? England’s performance at Euro 2012? The Olympic Games? With the last of these still yet to begin, it’s hard to tell what the main event of summer 2012 will be but for many people, this summer will be remembered for the weather and the flooding that has hit many parts of the UK.

Climate change is never too far away from the news but whilst rising temperatures and warmer winters have been the talk from experts, recent years has seen worldwide misery and destruction when it comes to the weather. 2004 saw the Boxing Day Tsunami which according to United Nations figures saw resulted in over 186,980 deaths.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through many parts of the United States with at least 1,836 people losing their lives in the Hurricane and subsequent floods. And in the UK in recent years, more misery in the form of torrential rainfall that has seen homes, businesses and lives destroyed throughout many parts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Whilst the adverse weather seen in the UK is nowhere near the scale of those witnessed in other parts of the world, lives have still been lost and the clean-up operation, for many, is just now underway.

The UK Business Insurance Broker, Northern Counties Insurance, has produced these helpful tips which home owners and businesses can follow to help them both before and after a loss should they be hit by flooding.

 Pre Loss tips include:
• Ensure that (where possible) all electrical equipment and stock is stored at least 4 feet above ground
• Turn off all electrical equipment (excluding burglar alarms)
• Turn off the supply to central heating units if these are at ground level (if possible)
• Whenever and wherever possible move vehicles to higher ground
• Sand bag the premises if there is a high exposure to potential flooding • Consider constructing gullies to funnel water to drains
• Clear all drains and gutters on and around the premises of leaves and any other obstructions to allow an unrestricted flow of water
• Move high value items away from unmanned premises

These are just a few of the things you could consider before falling victim to adverse weather to help reduce the loss and misery you might experience following flooding. So what action can you take once a loss has occured?

Post Loss tips include:

• Remove debris where possible. However if the debris is in any way contaminated, you may need to contact the emergency services first.
• Save items of value for inspection
• If stranded, contact the emergency services immediately
• If possible allow ventilation to the premises
• Consider up to £500 of emergency repairs to mitigate future losses
• Take all appropriate and reasonable measures to protect the premises from future flooding
• Contact your insurance broker or insurance company immediately so they can help make sure your claim is dealt with as quickly and as favourably as possible

Hopefully the weather like we have seen so far in 2012 will be a freak occurrence that doesn’t hit us again, but should storms and flooding continue hopefully these tips for avoiding flood damage will go some way to help you out.

And if you are in any doubt as to what cover you may (or may not) have when it comes to flooding on your home insurance or business insurance, please feel free to contact us on 0800 046 1446 or visit

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