General guidelines following floods

Gas safety

In the event of a flood your gas supply may have been affected by water entering the gas system. If you find any of your gas appliances fail to work, turn off your gas at the meter and contact the National Grid Emergency Line on 0800 111 999.

The following information will be required when reporting a fault:

  • The address/location of the suspected gas emergency
  • How many people are at the property where the smell is most noticeable
  • How long the smell has been noticeable
  • Is the smell coming from the cellar/basement
  • Are any neighbours affected
  • Your name and phone number
  • Any special circumstances or access information

In the event of a potential gas leak, along with turning your gas off at the meter, you should also:

  • Open doors and windows
  • Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
  • Extinguish all naked flames
  • If you are a council tenant and have any concerns over gas heating systems, phone your housing repairs number.

Electricity supply

If your property is at risk of flooding, switch off your electricity supply at the fuse box. If floodwater has entered your property through any openings or under the floor, DO NOT switch any electrical appliances on or touch any switches. Your property must first be inspected and declared safe by an electrician.

Emergency contact numbers:

SSE Power Distribution (North of Scotland): 0800 300 999
ScottishPower Energy Networks: 0845 27 27 999

Telephone lines

If your telephone lines have been damaged due to flood water, you can contact BT on:

  • 0800 200 151  (From a landline)
  • 0330 123 4151  (From a mobile)
  • +44 179 359 6931 (From abroad)

For any other faults which you wish to report (e.g. broadband, television) visit the BT website or contact your provider.

Royal Mail

If you need to leave your home in the event of flooding, you will need to notify Royal Mail of a redirection address. You can do this by contacting your local Post Office or online at Royal Mail redirection.

Precautions to take following flooding

  • There is always a potential for cross contamination between flood water and sewage in the event of a flood and you must always take care in the aftermath of a flood.
  • Minimise the health risk when cleaning up by wearing protective clothing and strong gloves.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water after contact with floodwater, sewage or any items which have came into contact with these.
  • Make sure children do not play in floodwater areas. If possible, get rid of any toys or belongings which have come into contact with floodwater or make sure they are disinfected before use.
  • Make sure open cuts or sores are kept clean and not exposed to floodwater. Cover all cuts with waterproof plasters.
  • Seek medical advice if any sickness or symptoms develop after contact with floodwater, such as vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • If there is any contamination due to oil, diesel or other fuels after the floodwater subsides, you can generally remove it using detergent solution and washing the surface down after you've done the initial cleaning. If the problem persists, seek advice  from the local Environmental Health team.
  • Elderly and vulnerable people who return to their homes following flooding may seek help and advice from the Community Care team. For more information, phone 01224 693936.

Gardens and play areas

  • Don't let children play on affected grass or paved areas until the ground has been cleaned if needed and dried out.
  • Exposure to sunlight will help to destroy any potentially harmful bacteria remaining as a result of the floodwater.
  • Make sure waterlogged equipment is fully dried out before using it again.

Inside the home

  • Disconnect the electrical supply by turning it off at the fuse box.
  • Report internal damage to the property to your insurance company before removing or disposing of any damaged belongings.
  • Remove dirty water and silt deposits from the property, including from under the ground floor if a suspended timber floor is in use.
  • Wash hard surfaces thoroughly with soap and hot water and disinfect them, particularly in and around food preparation areas.

Clothing and bedding

  • Wash all affected clothing, bedding and other soft fabric items on a hot setting of 60°C or above. You should get rid of any fabrics or soft furnishings which can't be cleaned.

Returning to the home

  • Only reoccupy the home once the property has been fully cleaned and is habitable once again.
  • If the insurance company or landlord recommend any additional works, bear this in mind before returning to the property.
  • If works are required to the gas supply or electricity supply please make sure that this is only carried out by a competent certified person.

 Food preparation and storage

  • Dispose of any food which has come into contact with floodwater or sewage.
  • Disinfect all surfaces in food preparation areas.
  • Restaurants or any business which deals with the supply/preparation of food should seek advice from Environmental Health Officers.

Contaminated drinking water

  • If you get your water from the main supply, seek advice from Scottish Water to determine if the water supply has been contaminated.
  • If you get the water through a private supply, check this thoroughly to see if it has been affected by floodwater. If this is the case, boil water before use until the water supply has been tested and found to be safe.
  • Clean and disinfect all water related fixings before use.


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