As winter is fast approaching again (much to our dismay!) we are soon going to be facing the many challenges that this soggy, cold and icy season brings to the UK.

One of these challenges is the risk of flooding, which seems to be occurring increasingly over time. Flooding is not something to take lightly – it ruins businesses, destroys homes and turns the lives of the people that live and work within them completely upside down. Last winter, the UK faced a series of major storms and some of the heaviest rainfall on record. This tested our defences against what seemed to be a furious and relentless Mother Nature yet sadly proved that our country wasn’t prepared for the extent of the damage and that our nation’s resilience needs to be improved dramatically if we have any chance of reducing the damage caused by flooding in the winter months.

The Government’s Get Ready for Winter Initiative

People that reside in flood-prone areas can try to prepare themselves for the wet winter ahead. If this sounds you like you, we’d recommend making yourself aware of the government’s ‘Get Ready for Winter’ initiative, which is hosted by the Met Office and offers advice and useful information to people across the UK. You can sign up to the Met Office National Severe Weather Warning Service and receive alerts as to which part of the country is under threat of flooding or storms.

Sewer Flooding

Sewers throughout the UK flood due to a whole variety of reasons, from climate change to pressure on sewer networks caused by lack of natural drainage. One of the common causes of flooded sewers is blockages that are the result of people placing unsuitable items down drains. These unsuitable items come in the form of sanitary towels, tampons, wet wipes and harden fat. If people were to refrain from doing this, then the amount of floods experienced as a result of blocked sewers would drop significantly!

What to Expect and How You Can Get Prepared

If you live in an area that is notorious for flooding in the wet winter months, then take action as soon as possible. It may be a good idea to stock up your emergency kit, which should contain a torch, a copy of your insurance policy, first aid kit and water. Be sure to place important documents in a sealed container to prevent damage.

When a threat of flooding is on high alert, sand bags will be in high demand, so it’s a good idea to stock up on these beforehand so you are fully prepared. Use the sandbags to place on top of toilets and sinks to prevent backflow.

Take as many pictures of your home as possible, too – these may come in handy when it comes to claiming on your home insurance.

There are many other ways to make sure you’re prepared for potential floods. You can find out more on what to do once your home has been flooded at the British Red Cross website.

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