With the 80mph winds and heavy rain of Storm Doris due to hit the UK this week, it’s no surprise that multiple weather warnings have been issued.
Travel delays, power cuts and possible damage to buildings are all expected. And as with any storm, an increased likelihood of flooding is part and parcel of the tumultuous weather. So, what can you do to prepare your home against the threat of a flood?
With around 5 million people currently living in flood risk areas in the UK, it’s vital that everyone has information on what they can do. Here are some tips on the measures you can take to protect your home from flooding.
On any news coverage of floods you may have seen (or if you’ve been in the middle of one yourself) you’ll probably have noticed sandbags lined on doorsteps in preparation for an expected flood.
Sandbags are a cheap and easy solution to blocking incoming water for short periods of time, and can be particularly effective when used in conjunction with plastic sheeting.
However, if you like in a flood risk area it will be worthwhile investing in purpose-built door barriers, as sandbags are only recommended as a short-term measure.
Air brick covers
If your home isn’t prone to flooding, it can be easy to forget about the small gaps where water may enter the home.
Air brick covers are one of these problem areas, and for those who have experienced flooding solely through an air brick or vent, it can be a devastating result of a simple slip of the mind.
Luckily, air brick covers are widely available from multiple retailers, and are an inexpensive way of protecting your home against a flood.
While sandbags may be used on drains, there are better solutions out there to ensure water doesn’t back up from your sink, toilet and bath.
One popular measure is the use of non-return valves. These are fitted to the end of a drainage pipe in a manhole chamber, which ensure that sewage does not return up the drain.
Before you consider installing a non-return valve, it’s a good idea to get your drains cleaned so you can really benefit from the new installation.
While there are measures we can all take to improve our individual risk, the Environment Agency are calling on the public to be more involved in how we take national measures to build Britain’s flood resilience.
Emma Howard-Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, wrote in a blog post: “Flood risk is not just the responsibility of the local authorities, the Environment Agency, central government and the emergency services.
“It is everyone’s responsibility”.
Commenting on how the answer is not to simply build higher and stronger flood defences, Howard-Boyd added: “Resilience at a national and individual level has to be built into the fabric of Britain.”