Calderdale residents and businesses concerned about the long period of rainfall on Saturday 16 March are being advised to take action now to prepare their property for any future incidents.
Mark Thompson, Calderdale Council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, said:
“Last weekend, the rain fortunately stopped in time to avoid serious flooding in most properties, but it’s essential to be as ready as you can for possible floods. That’s why we’re urging local people to take steps now to help reduce the risk of flooding to their homes and businesses.”
A combination of flood resistance and resilience measures is the best way to protect your property and minimise recovery costs. Flood resistance products aim to prevent water from entering a building and include barriers, drain sealers and anti-flood air bricks. Resilience measures reduce the damage that is done when water enters a property and include sump pumps, raised electrics and water-resistant building materials.
There were many requests for sandbags on Saturday 16 March, but Calderdale Council does not provide these directly to individual households. It holds limited stocks to allow contractors to respond to flood warnings where there is a known significant risk of flooding on the roads or in nearby properties.
Contrary to popular belief, sandbags are rarely the best solution for keeping water out of properties. There are other products that perform better, are easier to use, are reusable and will not rot in storage. Many are filled with a synthetic gel substance, which moulds to seal gaps more effectively than sand.
Owners of flood prone properties are encouraged to have an up to date flood plan and practise it regularly. This should include a trigger for action (e.g. flood warnings from the Environment Agency), actions to take (e.g. fitting flood gates, turning off gas and electric and moving essential items to safety) and a list of essential items to have to hand when it floods (e.g. a mobile phone, a list of useful contacts, medicines, a first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water).
The National Flood Forum offers free, independent advice on property protection and has a directory of products and services. Visit www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk(external link) and www.bluepages.org.uk(external link) for more information.