In an emergency dial 999 and ask for appropriate service.
The first point of contact for all health issues should be your GP. You can get advice from NHS Direct. Tel: 111 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
Public Health England has advice on flooding and contact with any remaining flood water www.hpa.org.uk/flooding
Take sensible general hygiene precautions when in contact with any remaining floodwater. Any cuts or wounds should be covered and protected.
The effects of flooding can be shocking and you may feel overwhelmed. It’s normal to be anxious and you may feel like this for weeks or even months. A number of organisations can provide helpful support:
- Mindline – 01823 276892 Line open: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8pm-12am
- Samaritans – Taunton 01823 288 998 (24hr); Yeovil 01935 476455
- Somerset Carers Network – 01749 836 633
You can also download our leaflets with advice and guidance about looking after yourself and others after flooding and supporting children and young people after flooding.
No immunisations are needed or required when working to clean up after the floodwater. Routine immunisations from childhood and seasonal flu immunisations for at risk groups are, as always, encouraged. For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/vaccination-schedule-age-checklist.aspx
If no water runs from your kitchen tap, contact your local water company urgently. For the majority of customers this will be Wessex Water. Call 0845 600 4 600.
You should drink only boiled or bottled water until you have:
- Cleaned all taps using water (preferably hot) and detergent, then disinfected using an antibacterial surface cleaner
- Flushed the kitchen tap at a moderate rate for 15 minutes.
- Flushed all other taps and showers for 2 minutes.
If your property has been flooded, you are on a meter and need to flush your taps you will automatically receive the Wessex Water flushing allowance. You should only do prolonged flushing when the flooded water has gone from your home and you are sure water can drain away in your drainage system as normal.
Contact Wessex Water (0845 6004600) if you:
- are concerned about the taste of your water
- think pipe work has been damaged
- are concerned your supply may be contaminated by oil.
If your kitchen tap has been immersed in flood water, please contact your district council.
Gas and electric
Do not to turn on gas or electrics until they have been checked by a qualified technician.
If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety, you should:
- Call 0800 111 999 at any time day or night. The call is free.
- Turn off the gas at the meter, unless it’s in a cellar or basement – in which case, do not enter. If there is a smell of gas in the cellar or basement, evacuate the building.
- Extinguish all naked flames – do not smoke or strike matches. Turn off all gas appliances until they are checked by the engineer.
- Do not operate any electrical appliances or turn any switches on or off. Open doors and windows to ventilate the property and keep people away from the area.
The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents have advice on how to stay safe before, during and after flooding http://www.rospa.com/leisuresafety/watersafety/flooding-advice.aspx?utm_source=communicator&utm_medium=email&utm_content=flood_hub_article&utm_campaign=safety matters+07
Mould doesn’t present any health problems to most people, but prolonged exposure to mould can aggravate asthma and eye/nose irritation. If you have extensive mould in your house and your health might be affected, speak to your GP.
Pets and livestock
In an emergency RSCPA should be contacted to provide support 0300 1234 999 (24-hr)
The risk of disease to pets and livestock from floodwater is low. There has been no evidence of an increased disease risk to livestock or domestic animals occurring following floods in recent years. You can minimise any risk by:
- Stopping your pets from going into any areas affected by sewage spill.
- Cleaning-up any obvious contamination and take hygiene precautions.
- Cleaning, disinfecting and rinsing surfaces – e.g. the path from front door to road.
- Seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible if pets show any signs of ill health.
For Livestock issues contact Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Animal Welfare Team at Chelston, Wellington TA21 9HP.
Tel. or visit www.devon.gov.uk/tradingstandards
Advice about provision of safe water supplies during flooding can be found from:
- DEFRA at: gov.uk/animal-welfare-in-severe-weather
- Environment Agency: environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Business/Flood_recovery_advice_for_the_agricultural_sector_V_8(1).pdf
For advice on the movement of animals (livestock, domestic and/or exotic pets) call Avon and Somerset Police on 101.
If you are a farmer in need of support you can call the Farming Community Network 01934 712128 or 0845 3679990