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Planning for a flood

Posted on 12 March 2015 10:55 AM by dalbe2b

It’s my job to make sure UK Power Networks is prepared as well as it can be, for all sorts of natural - and manmade - problems which can hit our company, customers or equipment.

Seeing your home or business devastated by flood water pouring in, would inevitably be traumatic, no matter how well prepared you were. I'd like to impart some advice to enable you to be prepared, and allow you to respond and recover from this experience if indeed it was to happen.

Could your property flood?
Simply check this by using the Environment Agency maps here.

If your property is at risk I would recommend you:
• Sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency here.
• Complete your own flood plan.

Your flood plan should consider:
• A list of items you should move now and during a flood.
• How to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies.
• Preparing a flood kit that includes: copies of important documents and phone numbers; a phone that works without mains electricity; a torch; camera; blankets and warm clothing; waterproofs; first-aid kit; mobile phone chargers; emergency money; essential medication and bottled water.
• Preparing a post-flood cleaning kit.
• The needs of children, elderly, the disabled, your pets and also your neighbours.
• Taking photographs of your property and contents before they were damaged and keeping receipts safe for insurance claims.
• Visiting the National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages Directory, this provides an independent list of flood protection products and services.

During the flood
Your priority is protecting the life of your family, yours and your neighbours. If you’re not staying in your property make sure you leave, before the roads flood.

Flooding and electricity
Never assume that a wet piece of electrical equipment is safe to touch, there is a real risk of electrocution.

If you receive a flood warning, and it’s safe to do so, switch off the property’s power before it affects your wiring. This usually means turning off the mains switch but ask your supplier for advice or take a look at this help sheet.

The power may fail before your property is flooded, if surrounding properties flood first they could cause a power failure or UK Power Networks may be forced to switch off the power for safety reasons.

If you live in the UK Power Networks area and the electricity fails then tell us by calling 0800 31 63 105 or 0333 32 32 105 if calling from a mobile.

After the flood
• Contact your insurance company – don’t throw anything away until they say you can.
• Take photos of any damage especially showing the ‘tide mark’ on the wall and of your electricity and gas readings.
• Don’t switch on your electricity until it has been checked by a qualified electrician.
• Tell your energy supplier and UK Power Networks if your main fuse or cut-out have been damaged as they may need to be changed.
• If your power has been affected we will work with the local council and your electricity supplier to return your supplies to normal.

Our flood plan
We want to be ready in the case of a flood so are registered to receive all the flood warnings for our operating area and our main substations.

Although most of our equipment is designed to be unaffected by a degree of flooding, there is a safe operating flood-level limit. If water reaches this we have to switch off electricity supplies for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the plant.

Some of our sites are protected by flood defences, such as barriers, sandbags, and pumps and have specialist flood teams. We have a programme in place to protect more of our substations starting with those at highest risk and those that supply power to the most customers.

We will continue to update our plans, refresh our training, and continue to improve the reliance of our network to flooding.

Lastly, I know that following the advice above won’t reduce the flood risk but I'm sure it will put you in a better position to recover from one. So be prepared and create your flood plan today. Rest assured I have one for my house!(Check!)


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