For house hunters, this information could be useful when deciding where to buy a new home. But it's just as important for people who've lived in the same home for a while.
'People who have never been flooded don't expect it and don't prepare for it, but many claims come in from first-timers,' says Colin.
'For people who have been affected by floods, it's often personal possessions that they are most upset to lose,' says Colin. 'Don't forget to take any school books or photo albums from beneath coffee tables or lower shelves. It's also worth making digital copies of everything well in advance so that it's backed up.
'Blocked up drains were a common complaint during the recent floods,' he adds. You can install non-return valves on your pipes if you're concerned about blocked and overflowing drains.
It's also worth making sure you have the receipts and manuals for appliances stored somewhere safe – you may need these when you make your insurance claim.
Don't try to move anything that's too heavy for you to do so safely – flood management companies are trained to take all the necessary steps to prevent secondary damage to your home, including moving heavy objects and carpets.
Before you move anything, take photos and make an inventory of everything you take to higher ground. As an extra step, you can find out which local flood management company your insurer uses and make a note of their details.
'When it comes to flooding, there are two types of damage,' says Colin. 'Primary damage, which is the initial impact when the flood hits, and secondary damage, which is the harm that standing flood water can cause if not dealt with efficiently.'
The moisture and humidity from floodwater can damage previously unaffected rooms, even those upstairs. So when you're at home, you should open all your windows to get air flowing through the house and stop moisture building up. At the same time, close all the doors to unaffected rooms. Take extra precautions before you do this to protect any valuables, such as storing them in a locked drawer or a safe, or even removing them from the house altogether.
As well as your home, your garden is likely to be badly damaged, and may contain debris from the surrounding neighbourhood. Wait until waters have gone down to safe levels before beginning to clear it.
Once water levels are down, remove carpets that have been damaged. But don't dispose of them: your insurer will need them to see the impact of the flood.
Most of all, be patient with the flood management professionals who are getting your home back to the way it was – but don't be afraid to ask for regular updates!
'The drying out process can be long and frustrating, but it needs to be done in order to minimise damage,' says Colin.
Flash floods can turn your whole life around. But by watching out for warnings, preparing for any eventuality and staying proactive if it happens, you can take control over how much a flood impacts your life.
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