Contact your insurers as soon as possible, and closely follow their advice. If possible, make a note of the key things that your insurers tell you, and record details of all conversations and correspondence you have with the insurer.
If you don’t have insurance, contact Calderdale Council or Citizens Advice Bureau who should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.
If you are insured, you should ask your insurance provider two key questions:
- How long will it be before a Loss Adjuster visits your house?
- Whether you should clean your property or if they will arrange to have it cleaned for you?
It is likely that your insurance company will send a ‘Loss Adjuster’ to your house to evaluate the damage. For this reason, it is very important not to repair or throw away damaged goods until your insurer has said it is safe to do so.
Once damaged goods have been seen by your insurer, you can contact the Council to see if they can help with collection. Be careful putting household goods outside to dry out: people might help themselves if they wrongly assume the goods have been scrapped.
It is also a good idea to take photographs or video of any damage to your property and belongings. Make a list of the damage and, if your carpet is saturated, cut up a small sample to show the Loss Adjuster as proof of its quality.
Use a permanent ink pen to mark on the wall the maximum height of the floodwater. Do this in every room affected by flooding.
If your insurance policy covers you for the loss of perishable goods like food, make a list of all these items you throw away. Include any food touched by floodwater and anything in your fridge or freezer that has been ruined by loss of power.
Don’t immediately switch your gas and electricity supplies back on. Instead, you should ask a professional to check the safety of electricity and gas appliances before using them. A qualified electrician needs to check any electrical equipment that may have encountered floodwater.
Never enter flooded areas or touch wet electrical equipment, unless you are certain that the power is off. Don’t assume that any part of a flooded electrical installation or appliance is safe.
Water and mud may enter gas systems during a flood. Even if appliances appear to be working normally, the flue or ventilation systems might be affected. For safety reasons, it is very important to have appliances inspected by a CORGI registered engineer before they are used for the first time after flooding.
See Northern PowerGrid’s electrical safety leaflet and Gas Safety for more information.