After flooding

Who to contact after a flood

  • Phone your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • The National Flood Forum offers advice for anyone affected by flood, including people without insurance
  • United Utilities – if you’ve no water or you need advice about using your water again after a flood.
  • Electricity North West – if you’ve no power or you need support and advice about using your electricity again after a flood.

Using your gas and electricity safely after a flood

Flooding can create an unsafe environment for your gas and electric.

  • Don’t operate equipment which is still in water or while you’re standing in water.
  • Make sure all electrical appliances are properly switched off and dry before you turn your electricity back on. 
  • If your fuse box or any of your plug sockets have been in floodwater, don’t switch your electricity back on until it’s been checked by an electrician.
  • If your home doesn’t have any power, contact Electricity North West.
  • If your gas meter or any gas appliance has been in floodwater, call British Gas before switching the gas back on or switching on any gas appliances. If you smell gas or suspect gas escape has occurred at any time, call British Gas immediately.

Disposing of contaminated items

If furniture has been damaged by flood water, you can arrange a large or bulky item removal.

We will provide specific advice on disposal of waste in a large scale flooding event.

Disposing of used sandbags

After a flood, it is your responsibility to dispose of any sandbags. Used sand and bags usually retain contaminants such as sewage and oils when they come into contact with floodwater.

  • Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling used sandbags.
  • If sandbags have been in contact with floodwater, you can’t place them in your household waste. You’ll need to take used sandbags to your local tip.  
  • Don’t allow children to play with sand or place it in sand pits due to the risks from contamination.

Cleaning and using your home after a flood

If you rent your home, your landlord is usually responsible for repairs.

When cleaning your home after a flood, you should:

  • Avoid using rooms that have been flooded until they’ve been cleaned and dried.
  • Remove all soft furnishing and fittings that are damaged beyond repair.
  • Wash all hard surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Food preparation surfaces, such as kitchen worktops, storage cupboards, fridges and freezers should be washed with food-safe disinfectant.
  • Allow areas you’ve cleaned to dry naturally. This will help to destroy any germs left behind.
  • Leave the heating on, if possible, and open your windows to help with the drying process.
  • If you don’t feel safe cleaning up alone, you can hire professional cleaners to help.
  • Wash clothes, bedding and toys that have been in contact with floodwater at 60oC.
  • Soft fabrics and furnishings that can’t fit in the washing machine need to be professionally cleaned. If it’s not possible, throw the items away.

Using your home again after a flood

Moving back to your home or living in your home again after a flood can be difficult. Using a dehumidifier can make sitting in a wet or damp room more comfortable, but avoid living in rooms that are still drying out.