How to recover after a flood

How to recover after a flood

The recent flooding event in Neath Port Talbot has affected many properties, and residents are now facing the devastating clean-up operation. Below is some useful advice to help you recover from flooding.

Contact your insurance company

If you’ve been flooded, contact your insurance company and follow their advice. If you haven’t got insurance, the National Flood Forum can offer help and support on 01299 403055.

Before you start cleaning, take photographs to document damage and record the flood water height. Ask your insurer for advice before discarding items that cannot be cleaned, like mattresses and carpets.

Check if you can return home

If you’ve had to leave your home, check with the emergency services that it’s safe before you return.

Your home or business may also need a safety inspection by the utility companies before you can turn the water, gas and electricity back on.

Cleaning and repairing your home

    • Take advice from specialists before starting repairs to your property. Most of the repair work after flooding will need to be undertaken by professionals appointed by your insurers.
    • Flood water may contain harmful substances like sewage, chemicals and animal waste which could make you unwell. If you come into contact with flood water, wash your hands thoroughly.
    • When cleaning your home after a flood always wear gloves, a face mask and sturdy footwear. Find out how to clean up your home safely after a flood.
    • Before you start cleaning, take photographs to document damage and record the flood water height. Ask your insurer for advice before discarding items that cannot be cleaned, like mattresses and carpets.
    • If you use heaters or dehumidifiers to dry out your property, make sure there’s good ventilation. Never use petrol or diesel-powered generators indoors – their exhaust gases are potentially lethal.
    • If you have any questions about recovering from an internal property flood, such as disposing of used sandbags or damaged furniture, please contact us on 01639 686868. 

Emergency Assistance Funds

You may be able to reclaim the costs of flooding to your home via the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)

The Discretionary Assistance Fund provides a grant that you don’t need to pay back called the Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP). This grant helps with essential costs after an emergency, or if you have experienced a disaster such as a flood or fire in your home, or extreme financial hardship for reasons including delays in benefit payments.

The payment will help you cover the cost of food, gas and electricity, clothing and emergency travel. The fund is not designed to cover ongoing financial shortfalls.

How to apply

You can apply for assistance from the Discretionary Assistance Fund. You can apply by phone, face to face or online:

  • Telephone 01639 686868
  • Visit the One Stop Shop in Neath Civic Centre where a customer services adviser will help you complete the application.

Protect your property from future floods

To reduce future flood damage, you could take resilience measures such as laying tiles instead of carpets, moving electrical sockets higher up the walls or ensuring white goods are raised off the ground. These will help you recover if you are ever flooded again.

You could also consider whether flood resistance measures would benefit your property, such as installing flood gates or flood doors, and automatic airbricks, and fitting non-return valves pipes for toilets, sinks, baths and showers. These products aim to reduce the amount of flood water entering your property.

Suppliers of flood products and services can be found via the Bluepages.

For further information and advice, read the National Flood Forum's advice on how to protect your property from flooding

You can also phone your insurance company and ask about Flood Re. Flood Re is a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. Its aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable. Visit Flood Re for further information

Protect your Mental Health

Be mindful of your own mental health when recovering from flooding. Distress is a common reaction for people following a flood. However distress is usually temporary; most people are resilient and cope with being flooded despite being distressed by it.

If you continue to feel distressed following a flood, visit your GP who can help to identify further sources of support. Most people’s need for support is met by persons close to them.

Help from other organisations:

    • Both the GOV.UK website and Natural Resources Wales gives practical advice on preparing for a flood and what to do during and after a flood.
    • Cadw provide useful advice on flooding and historical buildings
    • Asda offer support via their Emergency Fund