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Home insurance - guides

Tips to prevent flood and storm damage at home

It's difficult to predict when a flood or storm might hit - and if your home will be affected. Minimise weather damage to your home with these hints and tips.

Image of a house in a storm
Icon of two triangles. Inside the triangles is a picture of a house flooded with water.

Live flood warnings

Receive the latest flood alerts for your area and the rest of the UK.

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You can find more information in the Environment Agency's 'Preparing for Flood' leaflet, available on the environment agency website.

Check the latest flood developments by calling England and Wales Environment Agency's floodline on 0345 988 1188, or go online. For Scotland, contact the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Rivers Agency for Northern Ireland.


What to do if there's a threat of storm or flooding

  1. Remember to keep your garden clear of any hazardous loose objects, as these could damage windows etc. Potential hazards include garden furniture, children's play equipment (such as slides) or building materials. Tie down garden furniture too large to store in sheds.
  2. If a thunderstorm's coming, unplug electrical items, phones and computers (internet connections). Lightning can travel along phone and electrical lines.
  3. If you've received a flood warning, if possible, roll up carpets and move them upstairs.
  4. Move your furniture upstairs. If some pieces are too heavy to carry (for instance, fridge/freezers or tables), try to raise them on bricks, heavy wood or blocks.
  5. Make sure that you keep pets indoors, as they could be harmed by rising water levels, which could contain sewage.
  6. Put your temporary flood protection measures in place, for example put sandbags down, airbrick covers on and place floorboards over windows and doors.
Icon of a house in a storm

Be prepared with a home emergency kit

Icon of a first aid kit and a bottle of water
  • A torch
  • Canned food and portable cooking equipment
  • Bottled water
  • Portable radio, along with spare batteries
  • Blankets, waterproof clothing and boots
  • A list of local emergency numbers (e.g. the council)
  • Your insurance details
  • First Aid kit

Easy jobs you can do to weather-proof your home

  • Regularly check your roof to look out for any slipped or missing tiles, loose or cracked flashings, or worn concrete.
  • Keep drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris. During high rainfall, blocked gutters could cause extensive water damage to your home.
  • Cut back large branches (especially dead ones) overhanging your home or outbuildings.
  • Back up your computer to avoid losing sentimental material (such as family photos). Both lightning and flood damage could wipe your computer's hard drive.
  • Safely lock your valuables away, preferably in a waterproof container kept on an upper floor.
  • Consider keeping a stock of sandbags if you live in a flood risk area. Ask your local council as they may supply them.
  • Get temporary flood protection equipment such as removable covers for air bricks and other vents and floorboards to help protect vulnerable windows and doors.
  • When refurbishing or decorating your home, use flood resilient materials, like ceramic tiles on ground floors, or rugs instead of carpets.
Icon of guttering on a house

Find out what to do if your home's damaged from flood or storms

Icon of a red warning storm warning triangle

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