SAFETY TIPS if you get a flood warning

The UK’s leading authority on water safety is warning families to stay clear of swollen rivers and for commuters to avoid driving through floodwater. The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), is issuing advice on staying safe near floodwater following two days of heavy downpours across the UK.

On Monday 24th September 2012 some transport disruption has taken place across the country following heavy rainfall. RLSS UK is warning drivers to take extreme caution in flooded areas and just two feet of water is enough to float a car.

Di Standley, chief executive of RLSS UK, said: “People are often curious to see rivers at their peak but this can be dangerous. It’s vital not to underestimate the power of floodwater. We’re calling on everyone to be proactive and to learn about water safety to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Some quick tips to remember in a flooding situation include, don’t try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car. And absolutely never try to swim through fast flowing water – you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.”

Every year more than 400 people lose their lives through accidental drowning – inland water accounts for 63 per cent of these deaths.

Safety Tips
Flooding – stay safe
If you get a flood warning

· Motorists should never attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The flood may be deep or fast moving and vehicles can be quickly swept away

· Never allow children or pets to go near or play in flood water. It is hazardous and may be contaminated with chemicals

· Keep an eye on weather reports for flooding in your area. Do not travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely

· Keep an eye on friends and neighbours, especially the elderly who may be at risk of hypothermia after their homes have flooded

· During extreme weather conditions the emergency services will be very busy, so only call for assistance if there is a risk to life or serious environmental damage

What to do in a flood at home

· Switch off gas, electricity and water at their mains supplies

· Do a quick scan for electric appliances, and take them upstairs

· Take personal, financial and identifiable documents upstairs, along with any sentimental or valuable items in your possession

· Disconnect large appliances (like the cooker and fridge) in case they come loose and float in the water

· If possible start looping curtains over the top of the rails, moving furniture, rolling up carpets, removing doors from their hinges, and putting bricks beneath large sofas to stop the water reaching too high

· Plug the bath and sink and weigh down the plug with sandbags

· Use sandbags to reduce the amount of water getting in along door frames, patio windows and block air vents where possible with plastic sheeting then sand bags

· Where possible weigh down external drain covers so they do not lift up under the pressure of flood water. Do not attempt to walk around in shallow flood waters – be aware of entrapment hazards where drain covers may have been moved resulting in deep, hidden drops

· If your home has flooded, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrician before switching back on

Preparing a flood kit

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is wise to assemble a flood kit. Don’t think of it as tempting fate – think of it as a potential lifesaver. With a flood kit readily to hand, you and your family can get out of the house much quicker and find your way to a safe place in good time

What to put in:

· Details of your insurance policy, including numbers to call in an emergency

· A laminated sheet of useful phone numbers, such as the environment agency, your council, friends and family. On the back of this sheet, note where the taps for electricity, gas and water are, so that you can turn them off or at least let others know how and where they are is required

· A change of clothing for everyone plus wellies, waterproofs and blankets (you may have to gather these as you leave)

· A torch, mobile phone, rubber gloves, and a radio if you have one

· Medication for specific conditions and a basic First Aid kit.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK, is the governing body and leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK. Each year its volunteers train approximately 1 million people in water safety, rescue techniques and life support, including 95 per cent of all pool and beach lifeguards. As a national charity, RLSS UK relies on public support.

For more information on water safety or how to join your local RLSS UK club, go to or call 01789 773994.

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