The London Fire Brigade is reminding people to only call 999 in a genuine emergency after Control Officers took more than 1,000 calls to flooding incidents across north west London earlier this week.
Firefighters attended a number of incidents following heavy rain including flooding to residential and commercial properties, people trapped in cars and flood water affecting electrics.
As firefighters continue to work with partners to keep everyone safe, it’s important to make sure you know what to do if you experience flooding.
What to do when there is a flood
▪ Be alert – listen for weather warnings in your area. You can also check your flood risk online.
▪ Prepare a flood kit or grab bag. This should contain essentials in case you have to leave your home. ▪ Learn more about grab bags.
▪ Protect your property. You can use sandbags to limit water flow and if possible, move belongings to a higher level.
▪ Look out for your neighbours. Make sure they know what to do, especially if they are vulnerable.
▪ For information, support and advice in your local area, visit your local council website.
▪ You can find further advice on flooding from the UK Government and you can also sign up for free flood alerts by phone, e-mail or text message. These alerts will let you know if your property is at risk.
During a flood
▪ If your property becomes flooded avoid walking through flood waters.
▪ Six inches of fast flowing water can knock over an adult.
▪ Flood water can also be contaminated or polluted, making it hazardous.
▪ Don’t swim or allow children and pets to go near flood water.
▪ Driving in flood waters
▪ Vehicles can quickly become unstable in moving water. Avoid driving into flooded water or a flooded area. If you’re driving and your car becomes caught in flood waters, you need to take the following steps.
▪ Ensure you and your passengers unbuckle your seat belts and where possible climb out to safety.
▪ As soon as possible after leaving the vehicle call the emergency services for help.
▪ If you become trapped in your vehicle turn on all the lights, including your hazard warning lights. Shout and sound your horn for help. If able to reach your mobile call 999.
The Brigade has a range of equipment which can be used to help rescue people trapped by flood water, pump water away and protect properties.
Fire rescue units are equipped with water rescue equipment such as inflatable rescue boats and the Brigade has four specialist flood response kits, each of which contains rigid flood rescue boats and paddles and rigid floating pontoons, which can be used to make bridges and walkways to rescue people. They also contain protective dry suits and boots to be worn by fire crews when rescuing people from flooded areas.