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What happens after a flood

What the different organisations may do - and what you can do - in the days, weeks and months after a flood.

Not all these measures will apply to every flood. What happens will depend on the location, severity and type of flood, and how long it lasts.

1 - 3 days after the flood

  • roads and bridges may be closed due to damage or need to be inspected before they can be reopened
  • police will increase vigilance to prevent looting of discarded items or empty properties
  • voluntary organisations like the Red Cross or WRVS may arrive in the area to help the recovery – contact them if you want to offer your support
  • flood management authorities such as the council and the Environment Agency will map affected areas to record the scale and extent of flooding
  • the Environment Agency may also send flood support officers to provide advice if you’re affected by floods

A week after the flood

  • loss adjusters may visit properties to assess flooding insurance claims, perhaps earlier if flooding is localised
  • the Environment Agency and other flood risk management authorities will be inspecting flood defences for damage and prioritising repairs
  • your local authority may establish a flood fund and manage the raising and allocation of funds and donated goods
  • your local authority may provide assistance on council tax and other measures if your business is affected by flooding

A month after the flood

  • where there has been serious infrastructure damage, repairs may continue for months or years
  • you can contact your local council to find out if flood recovery grants are available and how to apply for them
  • if flood defences have been damaged, your area may be at greater risk of future floods and flood warnings may be issued a lower levels until defences are repaired
  • your local authority may issue an approved trader list to help homeowners and businesses avoid dishonest traders

3 months after the flood

  • your local authority may hold a review, with local meetings and business impact surveys, to capture lessons learned and establish an action plan
  • there may also be a local authority effort to bring trade back where local economies have been affected by floods

A year after the flood

  • major infrastructure repairs may still be going on after 12 months if damage has been severe
  • flood risk management authorities may still be planning or have begun building improved flood defences
  • the Environment Agency, local authority and community flood action groups may be involved in exercises that test new flood response plans