General Guidelines following flooding
Where are You?
It is important that you keep the Council aware of your current whereabouts especially if your home has been flooded and you have made your own accommodation arrangements. The type of information that we need to know includes: -
- where we can contact you
- a contact telephone number
- How long you are able to remain at your current location
- any other issues you feel may be relevant regarding your current situation (i.e. health, financial)
We can be contacted on Elgin 0300 123 4566 between 8:45am to 5:00pm. Out of Hours (after 5:00pm) on 03457 565656.
Staff from our Welfare Benefits Section will be available to provide you with assistance regarding benefit advice and where necessary, complete forms. They can be contacted on 0300 1234561
Support and Assistance
Community Services will offer support and assistance to those affected by flooding in circumstances of severe hardship. Should you require this you can contact your local office on the following numbers:
Access Care Team: 01343 563999
Dr Grays: 01343 567033
Following the recent flood, your gas supply may have been affected by water entering the gas system.
Should you return to your property to find your appliances fail to work, turn off your gas at the meter and call Transco’s freephone gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 and a Transco Emergency Engineer will call to your home.
Gas safety is Transco’s number one priority and if you smell gas you should always follow these simple steps:
- Open doors and windows
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
- Extinguish all naked flames
- Turn your gas off at the meter
- Call Transco’s freephone gas emergency number on 0800 111 999
If you are a Council tenant and have any concerns over gas heating systems phone 0300 123 4561
If floodwater has entered your property either through door or window openings or under the floor DO NOT switch on any electrical goods or touch any switches. Your property must first be inspected and declared safe by an electrician
Emergency Numbers to contact are: -
Hydro Electric: 0800 300999
Scottish Power: 0845 272999
Your telephone lines may be affected if your house has been flooded. Contact BT on
Customer Services: 152
If you are unable to return to your home immediately you will need to contact the Post Office, Batchen Street, Elgin and advise them of a redirection address.
It will be necessary for all properties that have been affected by flooding to be inspected. The following arrangements should be adopted:
- Local Authority Property – the Council will require to inspect all properties affected by the flood and will be contacting tenants to make the necessary arrangements
- Owner-Occupied Property – you should contact your Insurance Company for assistance in this matter.
- Private Tenant – you should contact your landlord and advise them of any property damage.
- Housing Association – you should contact your landlord and advise them of any property damage
For further information phone 0300 123 4566
Guidelines on Precautions to take following Flooding
General advice on protecting against infection. The main points are as follows: -
- Although floodwater and sewage can leave a muddy deposit, past experience of flooding and sewage contamination suggests that the risk to health is small.
- Health risks should be minimised when cleaning up by wearing protective clothing, e.g. strong gloves.
- Hands should be washed with soap and clean water after going to the toilet, prior to eating and preparing food, and after contact with floodwater, sewage or items that have been contaminated by these.
- Children should not be permitted to play in floodwater areas. Their hands should be washed frequently and always before meals. Floodwater contaminated toys should be washed with hot water or be disinfected before use.
- Open cuts or sores should be kept clean and not be exposed to floodwater. Waterproof plasters should be worn.
- Those who develop diarrhoea and/or vomiting following direct contact with floodwater should seek medical advice.
- If floodwater contains oil, diesel, etc most will be removed with the floodwater and silt. If there is any remaining contamination in accessible areas, this can be removed by using detergent solution and washing the surface down after initial cleaning has been completed. It is possible that an odour problem may arise if diesel, oil, etc are present in inaccessible areas. If the odour persists, advice should be sought from the local Environmental Health Section.
- Elderly and vulnerable people who return to their houses following flooding may seek help from the Community Services Department. If illness occurs, the doctor should be informed that the home was flooded.
Gardens and Play Areas
- Young children should not be allowed to play on affected grassed or paved areas until they have been cleaned and dried out.
- Sunlight and soil should help destroy harmful bacteria and excess risk to health should disappear completely within a week or so.
- Waterlogged garden equipment should be cleaned and allowed to dry out before further use.
Inside the Home
- Disconnect the electrical supply.
- All furnishings and fittings that are damaged beyond repair should be removed ensuring that you do not block any footpaths, rights of way and pavements. If you are insured you should consult with your Insurance Company prior to disposing of your belongings. The Council will be placing skips near affected areas very soon.
- Dirty water and silt should be removed from the property, including from the space under the ground floor if the floors are wooden
- All hard surfaces should be washed with hot soapy water and then disinfected, paying particular attention to food preparation areas
Clothing and Bedding
- All affected clothing, bedding and other soft fabric items should be laundered on a hot wash at 60oC or above. Other soft furnishings that can not be laundered should be professionally cleaned or disposed of.
Returning to the Home
- The house should only be fully re-occupied once the above cleaning regime has been followed.
- Your insurance company, housing officer, landlord, etc may advise additional works. If returning to the home before the further work is undertaken, the property should be well ventilated and heated.
- Ensure a competent person makes the electrical supply safe before returning home.
Food Preparation and Storage
- Food should be destroyed if it has come into contact with sewage or floodwater.
- Hands should always be washed before and after preparing food.
- All surfaces that food will come into contact with, including shelves in fridges, should be disinfected using a hypochlorite solution (bleach). Food should not come into contact with surfaces that are damaged.
- Food business should seek advice from Environmental Health Officers.
- Frozen food that has been at ambient temperature for a few hours should be disposed of. Attempts should not be made to salvage damaged food, including tins, as it may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left from the floodwater.
Contaminated Drinking Water
- Those supplied with water through the main supply should follow the advice of Scottish Water to determine the safety of their water supply. Scottish Water is taking all necessary steps to protect public health and will keep the public updated via the radio, press and other media if the water supply is contaminated.
- Those who receive their water from a private supply should check whether it has been affected by floodwater. If this is the case, water should be boiled until the water is tested and shown to be safe.
- Water taps should be cleaned and disinfected before they are used for the first time.