If your property floods, its important to know what to do help you get back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood:

What to do first

  • Don't enter your house until all flood water has been removed. Leicestershire Fire & Rescue may be able to help you with pumping flood water out of your house. If other people are affected you may need to wait a little for this help.

  • If nearby traffic is causing further flooding to your property by creating waves, contact Leicestershire Police on 101

  • If flooding is being caused by a public sewer contact your water supplier (Severn Trent Water 0800 783 4444 or Anglian Water 0800 771881 depending on where you live)

  • If flooding is being caused by a blocked road gully contact Leicestershire County Council Report It Form. Please remember that gullies may be appear blocked, but are actually not draining due to remaining high water levels in the watercourses they drain to

  • It’s very important to wear rubber gloves to move objects or clean surfaces that have been in contact with the flood water, as the water will have been contaminated with sewage and other pollution

  • Take photos of your property for your insurers and don't dispose of damaged goods until insurers have said whether they want to inspect them

  • Get a qualified plumber and electrician to reconnect appliances

  • Don't use electrical equipment that has been exposed to flood water until checked by a qualified electrician

  • Make sure floorboards or damaged tiled floors are fully repaired as flood water may cause sharp edges of tiles or raised nails in the floorboards

  • Look after yourself. Flooding can cause a number of health problems. Visit the Gov.uk website for information about health guidance after a flood

Cleaning up

  • Dehumidifiers can be used to collect moisture from the air and can aid in drying out a property. Water is collected in the dehumidifier and can be disposed of down regular water drains and sinks
  • Ventilate your house as much as you can after flooding - less damp is less damage
    Put on protective clothing before starting any clean-up
  • Remove all soft furnishings and fittings that are damaged beyond repair from the property
  • Remove dirty water and silt from the property including the space under the ground floor if you have wooden floors
  • Wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water and a domestic disinfectant to wash over all hard surfaces after cleaning
  • Any clothing, bedding and other soft/fabric articles including you want to keep should be washed the highest temperature possible
  • Other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot be put in a washing machine will have to be professionally cleaned or if you want to keep them
  • Your local District Council’s Environmental Health Team can give you advice on clearing up if you have any doubts about it
  • Seek professional advice from a structural engineer if your property is damaged
  • Be aware of scammers – use registered tradespersons and contact your district council if you need help with removal of bulky items. Do not use people who are not registered waste carriers


Check your insurance policy and contact your insurance company immediately. The majority of household policies provide insurance cover for flooding. If you are a tenant and have taken out contents insurance, household contents, fixtures and fittings should be covered; it is normally the responsibility of your landlord to provide building insurance.

If you are uninsured you will most likely be responsible for covering all costs of flood damage. Remember to keep records of flood damage (for example, photos, and photograph any goods or furniture before disposing of them).

It is worth speaking to a number of insurers and checking what cover they can offer.

It may be worth checking out Flood Re, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. The aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable.

Food preparation and storage

  • Dispose of any food that has been covered by or come into contact with flood water
  • All surfaces and utensils that food will come into contact with should be cleaned with food-safe disinfectants. If work tops and other areas show signs of damage, avoid food contact with these areas
  • If your fridge has been affected by flood water, make sure it is also cleaned and disinfected thoroughly
  • All crockery, pots and pans should be thoroughly washed and rinsed with hot soapy water before using. You could use a food safe disinfectant to sanitise them after cleaning
  • Frozen food that has been at ambient temperature for a few hours should be disposed of. Check with insurers before disposal
  • Don't eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been covered by sewerage or flood water
  • Don't be tempted to try and salvage damaged food. This includes any food in tins as they may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left from the flood water

You can also find more advice on the Food Standards Agency website.


If you need an emergency prescription outside of your GP practice’s normal opening hours you should complete an emergency medicine request through NHS111 online or call 111 to discuss options.

If you require antibiotics or controlled drugs you will need to contact your practice.

Emotional support

If you need any support after a flooding incident, the British Red Cross volunteers can provide (where possible) free and confidential emotional support and signposting to local services. Call 0808 196 3651. (British Red Cross support available Monday to Friday. If you need help at the weekend contact The Samaritans.)

Further Advice

You can find a comprehensive guide on advice on what to do after a flood on the Gov.uk website.

Last updated: Mon 8th January, 2024 @ 19:23