Living in a flood-prone area can be scary, especially when you know that there is a good chance your home could be damaged or even destroyed by raging waters. But, with some preparation and the right flood storage solutions, you can rest easier knowing that you are doing everything possible to protect your home and belongings. While self storage units are an inexpensive, short-term and stress-free way to declutter your home or office, they can also be a safe haven for your belongings during lousy weather. In this article, we explore the importance of flood preparation for your property and how flood storage can help.
What is Flood Storage?
A flood storage unit is a specialised self storage unit designed to protect belongings from water damage in the event of a flood. Self storage units are especially useful for storing valuable or irreplaceable items, such as documents and electronics, or items that are particularly susceptible to water damage, like furniture or artwork. We recommend getting storage insurance on all high-value or sentimental items against disasters and checking that your insurance policy covers flooding. Flood storage units offer a simple solution for individuals and businesses who want to protect their belongings against flooding.
Flood Storage and Flood Preparation: A Step-by-Step Guide
Flooding presents a significant problem for homeowners, especially if you live in an area that often gets hit by heavy seasonal rains. In order to protect your home and belongings, it is essential to take the necessary steps to prepare for a flood.
Step 1: Understand your flood risk
The Environment Agency estimates that over 5.5 million, that’s 1 in 6, properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding caused by the sea, rivers bursting their banks and rising surface water brought on by storms.
Depending on where you reside in the United Kingdom, you can find online flood maps that will help you assess your risk. Simply click on your country to see your area’s flood map: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Step 2: Sign up for flood warnings
If your home or business is at risk of flooding, we recommend you can sign up for flood warnings. You will receive a call, text or email at any time, day or night, to warn you about potentially hazardous flooding.
Step 3: Discuss flooding and flood storage with your insurer
Flooding can cause significant damage to both residential homes and commercial properties, leading to expensive repairs or renovations. That is why it is imperative to check with your insurance company if they cover flood damage. Many policies in the United Kingdom do not automatically include coverage for flooding, but you can often add it for a small additional fee.
Step 4: Stock up on flood-barriers
Flood barriers are an important part of flood preparation as they can help to protect your home from water damage. There are various types of flood barriers available, so it is vital to choose the ones that will work best for your home and situation.
Some popular types of flood barriers include:
- Flood gates: Flood gates are perfect for protecting entrances and exits to your home, such as doors and garages. They are quick and easy to install and provide a watertight seal to keep flood water out.
- Flood walls: Flood walls are excellent for large areas that need protection, such as a basement or garage. They are easy to install and come in a variety of different sizes.
- Flood sheets: These are perfect for smaller areas and can be used to cover windows and doors. They are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for emergency situations.
- Sandbags: Traditionally made from woven hessian fabric filled with sand and are excellent at soaking up moisture and flood water.
- Flood bags: Flood bags are a better option than sandbags because they contain crystals which absorb flood water, making them easier to move and store.
- Air brick covers: Although air bricks are essential for ventilation, it is best to install airbrick covers to prevent flood water from entering your home.
You can purchase these items and more from the UK Flood Defence Alliance.
Step 5: Know the location of your nearest flood storage facility
It is also critical to consider whether your property has adequate storage capabilities to protect your belongings in the event of a flood. If not, we recommend you consider a flood storage unit at your local Space Centre Self Storage facility. During your flood preparation, ensure you know where your nearest self storage centre is. We have flood storage facilities conveniently located across the UK in Bristol, Stroud, Stonehouse, Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Step 6: Flood preparation for your home
Here are the first things you should do if a flood is imminent:
- Compile an emergency kit that includes medications, a first aid kit, warm clothing, sensible footwear, torches, batteries, waterproof matches, candles, food and bottled water.
- Have an evacuation plan for your family and pets in case of an emergency. Keep pet carriers and leashes in an easily accessible location.
- Keep irreplaceable items such as documents, valuables and medical supplies safe by sealing them in waterproof bags.
- Install flood barriers around your home to protect entrances and exits.
- Use sandbags to block toilets and floor drains to prevent sewage back-up.
- Disconnect all your electrical appliances and move them upstairs to prevent them from being damaged.
- Roll up loose rugs and raise furniture and electrical items off the ground.
- If you have the time, move all ground-level furniture and appliances upstairs or take them to a flood storage unit.
- Turn off your gas, water and electricity.
For an in-depth guide to preparing your home for a flood, read the Environment Agency’s “Preparing your property for flooding: A guide for householders and small businesses.“
Step 7: What to do in an emergency: Flood Storage, Evacuations & Resources
Ensure you have a list of emergency numbers on hand, so you know who to call and where to go in the event of an emergency. It’s vital that your family also knows the drill so everyone can evacuate early rather than waiting until it’s too late. Move all ground-level furniture and irreplaceable belongings to your chosen flood storage facility, and then follow your evacuation plan. Stay in contact with your neighbours, family and friends and let them know your movements and if you are safe.
If you need help, you can call the National Flood Forum; they are a charity that helps, supports and represents people in the UK who are at risk from flooding.
Flood Storage with Space Centre
By following the seven steps above, you can be much better prepared for floods and the potential damage they could do to your home. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and by taking proactive measures now, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and money in the future.
With flood storage, you can protect your belongings by keeping them in a secure and dry unit until the bad weather passes. These units have enough space to store valuables that you don’t want to leave at home. If you have any questions about flood storage or would like more information on our storage facilities in Bristol, Gloucester, Stroud and Stonehouse, please give us a call or visit our website.