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Information » Health » In an Emergency » Flooding


  • Flooding affects every part of a community’s normal daily existence, from shelter in domestic properties to services such as fuel and power supplies, transport networks, communication and telephone/computer lines
  • Flooding can also lead to the contamination of food and water supplies
  • The effects of floods can be highly dangerous. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation near a flood
  • Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the floodwater like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution
  • Floods occur after periods of heavy rain when the land's natural drainage system can no longer cope. Rivers break their banks and water can reach homes and businesses, often causing damage
  • Six inches of fast flowing water will knock you off your feet, four inches of water will ruin your carpet, and two feet of water will float your car
  • Sandbags can prevent extensive damage occurring to your home. Many traditional methods of flood protection, such as sandbags, may not be effective against flooding from groundwater. This is because water can come up through the floor and remain high for a long time
  • If you think your house may be at risk of flooding there are steps you can take to prepare - check the Environment Agency's website, or call the Floodline to get information about flood risks: 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service)
  • The Fire & Rescue Service does not have a statutory responsibility to attend flooding incidents. However the three Welsh fire and rescue services will respond to calls for assistance in connection with flooding, including rescues from floodwater and pumping out
  • What to do in an emergency

    Listen to and act on the advice of the emergency services and follow these simple steps:

    1. Put people before property 
    2. Move your family and pets upstairs, with a means of escape
    3. Gather essential items (like water, blankets, a torch, first aid kit, essential medication and food) and put them out of the way of floodwater to keep dry
    4. Listen to local radio for updates or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188
    5. Put plugs in sinks and baths. Weigh them down with a sandbag, a pillowcase or plastic bag filled with garden soil, or a heavy object to avoid water backing up through drains into sinks and toilets
    6. Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when floodwater is about to enter your home if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in floodwater
    7. Floodwater can rise quickly, stay calm and reassure those around you. Call 999 if you are in danger

    This page is sponsored by South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

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