Flooding can occur anywhere, even if you live inland or away from watercourses, because drainage systems often get overwhelmed by high levels of water.

If you think your home is at risk of flooding and you would like advice on what to do, call the Environment Agency (EA) Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit the EA website .

Here are some useful tips you can follow if you’re home is flooded.

What to do in an emergency

  • Call 999
  • Leave your home and move your family and pets to a safe place
  • Move your personal belongings such as computers, electrical equipment and family photos to a safe place

How Catalyst can help

  • If your home has flooded or you are worried that it may be flooded call our customer service centre on 0300 456 2090 (south east customers) or 0300 456 2099 (London customers)
  • Catalyst offers all residents low-cost home contents insurance, please call us for more information

What to do during a flood

Accidents can easily happen if there is fast flowing flood water. So, please:

  • avoid walking or driving in or near flood water
  • don’t let children play in flood water
  • move your family and pets to a high place with an escape route
  • check on elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbours
  • avoid contact with flood water and wash your hands regularly
  • don’t drink flood water as this can cause diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain.

What to do after a flood

  • Take care if you go into flood water. There could be hidden dangers like sharp objects or raised manhole covers
  • Make sure there is good ventilation if using portable heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces. Don’t use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors
  • Don’t turn on gas or electrics as they may have got wet. Only turn them on when they have been checked by a qualified technician
  • Phone your water company or local authority and ask if your water is safe to drink and wash in
  • Don’t eat food that has been touched by flood water or fresh food from the fridge or freezer if your electricity has been turned off
  • Wash your hands regularly and clean work surfaces before and after preparing food. If water is not available use hand sanitising gel or wet wipes

How to prepare for a power cut

  • Keep spare batteries for radios and torches as local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
  • Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work if there is a power cut
  • Dress warmly with several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
  • Take care if using candles or other naked flames
  • Keep fridges and freezers closed and cover them with a blanket as they’ll stay cold for many hours
  • Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light so you know when the power comes back on
  • Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  • Look out for elderly neighbours; please consider taking them a flask of hot water or hot food

Useful information

You can find more information on flooding from the following organisations:

  • Environment Agency (EA): sign up for flood warning text alerts directly to your personal mobile or landline. Call 0845 988 1188 or visit the EA website
  • Your local council: may be able to provide things like sandbags to limit the affect of the flood. Find your local council
  • Local BBC news and weather: visit the BBC website or listen to local radio stations
  • Met office: go to the Met office website
  • UK Power Networks: to report power cuts and damage call 0800 783 8866 or 01243 50 8866. You can also get more information from the UK Power Networks website