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Flood safety

In the event of a flood, we will work with partners to respond to reports of a flood which affects your home.  Where necessary we will assist with rehousing in the event of a serious flood in your home.

Important tips and information to keep you, your family, your home and your belongings safe.

Flood safety advice

  • Check if your property is at risk of flooding at
  • Sign up for flood warnings. You can do this on the Environment Agency website to receive alerts by email, text or phone.
  • If you are in a flood risk area and have been issued with any flood defence equipment, ensure you know where this is stored, when and how to use it. It is a good idea to test setting up the equipment before you need it.
  • Think about home contents insurance to cover your personal possessions in the event of a flood. You can also get advice on this from the National Flood Forum.

  • Check the National Flood Forum or speak to a Floodline adviser to find out how to stay safe during a flood. Floodline Telephone: 0345 988 1188 24-hour service (call charges apply)
  • Contact your Local Council for advice on where to obtain sandbags.
  • If you need to travel check flood warnings and travel advice.

If your property is flooded and you need to evacuate, or if you are instructed by the council or emergency services to leave your property, please do so. If you are concerned about your property flooding, there are a number of steps you can take. You can:

  • Familiarise yourself with the isolation points for water, gas and electricity for your property
  • Contact the council on if you are concerned that your property will be flooded, they can provide sandbags and advise on how to protect your property.

You should also ensure that if there is an immediate risk of your house becoming flooded, you:

  • Speak to your home insurer about arrangements if you need to leave your property – your insurers should be able to provide advice, support and guidance if you need to leave your home
  • Take valuable items upstairs, including electrical items, medicine, important documents etc.
  • Disconnect any other electrical items
  • If you are able to, raise any furniture or move it upstairs
  • Bring caged outdoor pets inside, and move all pets with food, water, bedding and litter trays upstairs
  • If your home is breached by water, contact us on 0800 678 1894 for support and discuss rehousing.
  • Sandbags are distributed by the local authority.

Flood water is often dangerous, due to its speed, depth, hidden obstacles or contamination in the water.

If you do not know how deep the flood water is – do not enter it.

Listen to the local guidance being provided by the Fire Service, the Local Authority and/or Torus about when it is safe to return to your property and if you are in any doubt then don’t risk it.

Contaminated water – risk to health:

Following a flood water may have been contaminated with sewage, animal waste and other contaminants and often leaves a muddy deposit.

Infection problems arising from floods in this country are rare. Usually any harmful bugs in floodwater become very diluted and present a low risk, however, there are a few precautions to be aware of when dealing with flooding which should prevent unnecessary additional health problems and minimise any health risks:

  • Wherever possible, try to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater. If there is a necessity to step into the water, wear protective clothing e.g. waterproof gloves and rubber boots and remember to be careful of potentially concealed hazards i.e. drain covers and sewer entry points. However, ‘If in doubt, stay out’ of any flooded areas where the ground beneath cannot be clearly seen.
  • Keep children out of any flood water and away from areas affected by flooding, particularly toddlers and small babies, where hand to mouth contact is difficult to manage/avoid.
  • Decontaminate footwear with disinfectant
  • Keep pets away from affected areas
  • Remember to regularly wash your hands, this is the most important way to get rid of harmful bugs: using warm, clean water and soap, then rinse and dry your hands, particularly after using the toilet.  Make sure to also wash children’s hands regularly.
  • Do not eat any food that has been in contact with floodwater or sewage as it may not be safe to eat due to microbial or chemical contamination - before eating or preparing food, after being in contact with floodwater, sewage or with items that have been in the water.
  • To only use cold water to wash if warm water provision is not available. If there is no clean water, use disposable soapy, wet wipes or sanitising gel to carefully clean all parts of your hands and dry them.
  • Keep open cuts or sores clean and use waterproof plasters to prevent exposure to floodwater.

What to do if you start to feel unwell:

If you feel unwell this does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from any infection. If you are concerned, then call 111. A textphone service is also available if you are deaf or hard of hearing. The textphone number is 18001 111. Alternatively, you may wish to visit your family doctor/GP.

Avoid contact with floodwater and wash your hands regularly (good hand hygiene). Swallowing floodwater or mud may cause diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain. If you visit your GP, do mention the flood and any instances where you may have been in contact with flood water or potentially contaminated surfaces and display any of the above symptoms. Particularly, if they start within ten days of being exposed to floodwater or sewage contamination.

Remember: Flooding can be stressful. It is normal, in some cases, to feel anxious, upset and experience difficulty sleeping.  Take care of yourself and your family and check on elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbours.

Contact friends and family for support as it can take a long time for day to day life to return to normal.

Information above taken from Public Health England (PHE): Guidance on Recovery from Flooding Essential information for frontline responders.

Water and electricity do not mix:

In the event of a flood, you need to turn off your electricity, if you can.  If you are concerned about water approaching your electricity supply contact us immediately on 0800 678 1894 (24/7).

When you return to your property, don’t turn on your electricity until it has been checked.  We will do our best to complete an electrical check as soon as we possibly can but please be aware that demand for this will be high.

Your belongings:

Throw things away that have been affected by the flood, including food.

You can put most other things in the bin or take to a recycling centre as long as they’re not polluted with sewage or chemicals.

Contaminated items must be disposed of safely.  Contact the Environmental Health department at your local council to get rid of sandbags and other things polluted by chemicals or sewage. The Council will tell you how to dispose of them as hazardous waste.

Any items you wish to keep must be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant.

Loss of valuable goods:

We advise all tenants to have their own contents insurance.  Please contact your insurance company and follow their advice, make sure you note the policy claim number.

Take photos of everything that is damaged – furniture, carpets, curtains, possession, external damage.  You may need maintain possession of any flood damaged items that you intend to claim against your insurance, as they may be required as evidence.

Please check with your insurers and only keep items if it is safe to do so if they are not contaminated.

Your property:

As a Torus tenant, repairs to your property will be completed by our contractor HMS.  Contact us on 0800 678 1894 or email

Torus is here to support our customers who are affected by floods. You can find out more about flood risk and how to protect yourself from future floods here.

You can also get more advice on the website.

Consider creating a personal flood plan - a template is available on the environment agency website. The personal flood plan includes a list of things you should do (like moving sentimental items to safety) and provides space for you to note down important contact details such as your utility companies and insurance.

Get advice from the National Flood Forum on how to protect your property.

Get home insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a flood. You can get advice on this from the National Flood Forum. - get help during a flood

Floodline Telephone: 0345 988 1188 24-hour service (call charges apply)