Coping after a flood

Repairing buildings

• Many people are shocked to discover how long it takes for their property to recover from flooding. This is because buildings must be thoroughly dried out before repairs can be started (to avoid the risk of problems with damp or mould growth) and the whole process typically takes months, rather than weeks.


Repairing lives

• Flooding can also affect the health and well-being of the people affected – dealing with the event and its aftermath is not just physically exhausting, but also emotionally stressful. Children and older adults are among those at greatest risk, but everyone is likely to experience strong feelings, such as grief or anger, in the period that follows. These are perfectly normal responses to an abnormal event, and many people have found it helps tremendously to talk about their fears and worries with others
• To help deal with these problems, make contact with the local flood recovery centre (if one is set up in your area) as soon as possible – they may also be able to give advice on practical issues, such as cleaning up and dealing with insurance claims. Other good sources of support include your GP, voluntary organisations, faith-based groups or professional counselling services. Trying to ‘soldier on’ without help has been known to cause flood survivors serious and long-lasting issues (including depression, anxiety issues and substance abuse problems), so seeking help early is extremely important.

Insurance claims

• For homeowners who are insured against flood damage, the insurer will typically provide (or pay for) the cost of alternative accommodation while the property is undergoing repair. Contents policies will usually cover the drying, cleaning, repair/restoration or replacement of damaged possessions, but bear in mind there may be some variation between companies and policy types
• For tenants, the position is more complicated as insuring the building itself is usually the responsibility of the property owner, so contact your landlord as soon as possible. If you have a policy insuring the contents of your home, then contact the insurance company as well
• Take photographs, take notes and take great care when moving around in your home after the water has drained away

We can help you to ensure you get every penny you deserve from your insurer, not to mention saving you lots of time and stress! Find out about our Insurance Claim Adviser.

If you don’t have insurance

• The costs of repairing your home and replacing your possessions will be your responsibility – but there may still be help available from voluntary organisations and the like.
More on recovering after a flood (whether insured or not) can be found here:

Download the ‘Flood Recovery Guide’ – Your comprehensive 24-page guide from Mary Dhonau OBE “Mary Queen of Floods” and CEO of the ‘Know your flood risk’ campaign.

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