What to do after a flood

Check with the emergency services that it’s safe to return to your property.

Do not turn on your water, gas or electricity. Get your utilities company or a qualified engineer to check they are safe before turning them back on.

Check for any current or future flood warnings and sign up for flood warnings to get updates.

If you rent your home

Your landlord is responsible for repairs to your home if you’ve got flood damage.

Get advice from:

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance company to start your claim - they’ll tell you what to do next.

Get advice from the Association of British Insurers about:

If you do not have insurance

You’ll need to pay for any temporary housing and repairs yourself. Contact your local council and charities to find out if there are any grants or other support available.

Clearing up and making repairs after a flood

Before you start clearing up:

  • take photos of any damage and the flood water line
  • speak to your insurance company about what you can move and throw away

Flood water may contain sewage and hide rubbish, wreckage, uneven roads and pavements or broken drain and manhole covers.

Read about how to clear up safely after a flood.

Throw things away

You can put most things in the bin as long as they’re not polluted by sewage or chemicals. Contact your local council if you need skips or extra rubbish collections.

If you have used sandbags, check with your local council about how to dispose of them.

Getting rid of contaminated items

Contact the environmental health department at your local council to get rid of things polluted by chemicals or sewage. The council will tell you how to dispose of them as hazardous waste.

Food and water safety

After a flood, you can stay healthy by:

  • not using tap water if you notice a change in the colour, taste or smell - contact your water company if this happens
  • not eating food that’s touched flood water
  • throwing away food from a fridge if the electricity has been off for more than 4 hours
  • throwing away food from a freezer if the electricity has been off for more than 24 hours

Read more about food safety after a flood from the Food Standards Agency.

Get help and support

If you need information and advice, contact Floodline.

Telephone: 0345 988 1188
Textphone: 0345 602 6340
24-hour service
Find out about call charges

Mental health and wellbeing

If you need support with your mental health:

Financial support

You may be able to get financial support from your local council after a flood. Contact your local council to find out if support is available.

Prepare for future floods

Find out: