by Ben Heidemann
Part 1 – Flood damage
Our house is built on a slope so the ground floor is beneath street level. There is a river in the back
garden. This means that water could come up from the river or down from the road.
For my report I have chosen the living room, kitchen and studio all on the ground floor. First I will
list the contents of these rooms in groups, then describe the damage that would be done to the items
and the rooms. I have added photos that show the level of flooding in the rooms.
Our living room is 50cm lower than the rest of our ground floor so it would be flooded to 110cm.
There are many things wooden which would be damaged:
armchairs sofa wood panelling
piano carom board wooden steps
book shelf guitars
chest of drawers window sill
and also some other things that would also be affected by the water:
flower pots radio walls
carpets speakers table (metal)
wall paper sockets
ockets electrical kitchen tools
central heating boiler such as mixers or blender
Wooden things in the kitchen include:
table cupboards doors
Other things in the kitchen that would be damaged by this height of water are:
towels curtain food and dog food
s ork top legs
but a few other items that would be damaged by water as well:
printer printing paper data on pc
sockets radiator documents
art materials walls
All wooden things would be warped as a result of becoming wet and they might rot.
Books in the book shelf and paper in the drawers would get soaked and stick together.
Fabrics and soft furnishings such as pillows, towels, curtain and carpets would get soaked,
soiled and rot.
Water into the sockets would cause a short circuit.
Water into the electrical appliances might also cause a short circuit but would also break
these devices. Data saved on the pc would be lost.
Wall paper and plaster would come off the wall.
Metal things like the table in the living room and all the radiators would rust.
The flower pots would turn over and the flowers and soil would spill out.
The bins would spill.
Food would rot or be spoilt.
Art materials and printing paper would soak and become unusable.
Part 2 – Effects of flooding
If flooding reaches 60cm in our ground floor, the street will not be affected. However there are
many houses in the village that are also below street level that would also be flooded. The sewage
pipes are also lower than the street.
After 1 day of flooding...
The main problems would be damage to our property, worry and inconvenience for my family. We
would stay in our house because we could still use the entire upstairs floor which has a door to the
I would have to eat dry food or go to a restaurant because the freezer, fridge and cooker are on the
ground floor and would not work.
Me and my brother would be able to go to school because the street wouldn't be flooded, but my
school things and shoes would have got wet. My dad could work if he parked his car on the road,
but my mum couldn't because her art studio would be flooded.
There would be no electricity and no clean water or sewage which means there wouldn't be any
electronic entertainment such as the computer or the TV and the phone wouldn't work. We could not
shower or use the toilet. There would be no heating or light.
The dog would be fine but wouldn't have any food because it would be wet and flooded in the shed
along with the cat's food. The cat would be stuck in the shed and we would have to rescue it. The
hens would be OK because there at road level but would also have no food apart from grass.
The house could be repaired if the flooding only lasted a few days, but we would have to replace a
lot of damaged items and furniture.
After 1 week of flooding...
We would have to be evacuated because the house would not be safe or healthy to stay in. We
would give the hens to a farmer or set them free, the dog would be given to friends or a kennel and
the cat would be given to a friend or cattery. The longer the flood lasted the worse the damage
would be. People's lives and health would be affected.
We might be able to go to school depending on where we would stay. My dad would go to work but
my mum would not. We would not have the computers, TV or toys. I might not be able to see my
friends or do my hobbies. Life would become very difficult and we would need a lot of help from
The village shops would be closed along with the primary school. The house would be an easy
target for robbers and vandals. Farmers with low lying fields would loose land, live stock, crops and
suffer damage to there buildings and equipment. There might be structural damage to the house and
it would become unsafe and might collapse eventually.
Part 3 – Who can help?
There are many services that can help if your house gets flooded. These include:
The police can co-ordinate the emergency services in big floods and help
with the evacuation of people from their homes when needed.
The fire brigade
The fire brigade can rescue people who have
been trapped by the flood and must be
evacuated. They may also pump out the flood
water once the flooding has stopped.
The ambulance services
The ambulance take people who have been injured
by the flood to the hospital. They can also give
The council will work with the police and fire services and the
Environment Agency to co-ordinate responses during big floods, provide
advice to the public about the flooding and what to do, set up rest centres
for people who have been evacuated from their homes and arrange
temporary shelters for the people who have can't go anywhere else and
where possible they might give out sandbags and other emergency
provisions such as water and food.
The government is responsible for flood defences and for flood
warnings. They also provides the Flood Line information service(0845
Part 4 – Reduce damage
There are many things that can be done to reduce the damage flooding can
cause to things and people. Most of these things can be done by ourselves.
The council and other agencies can also help.
Things we can do ourselves:
Be prepared and make a floodplan for your house.
Listen to Radio Tay (96.4 - 102.8 fm) for flood warnings and
information. You can also call Floodline.
Watch if the flooding is getting worse. You may need to call the
emergency services or leave your house.
Stay safe! Always listen to the advice from the emergency services and evacuate when they
tell you to. Staying in your house may put your life in danger.
To stop water getting into your house you could put sandbags or flood guards at the doors or
windows. You could also make your own sand bags by putting sand or soil in a pillowcase.
Smear silicone sealant around doors and windows to stop water getting in. Cover doors,
windows and airbricks with plywood, sandbags or metal sheeting.
Plug up your sinks and baths and weigh the plugs down so water can't rise up through them.
You should move your car to a higher level to prevent it from getting broken, if this is
possible without risk to yourself.
The water from the tap may become unsafe to drink. To stop illness, fill jugs and saucepans
with clean water or have enough bottled water in the house. Also wash your hands
thoroughly if you have touched floodwater.
You have to turn off gas and electricity if you can safely do it. Do not touch sources of
electricity when you are standing in water. You may get electrocuted! Unplug electrical
To prevent valuable or essential items getting lost or damaged you should move them
upstairs or above the water level. Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag wawy
from the flood.
Roll up carpets and rugs and put them upstairs. If there is no time to take down curtains,
hang them up over the rail so they are kept above the water level.
If you can, remove internal doors and store them upstairs to stop them from warping.
Disconnect any appliances that use water such as washing machines and dishwashers.
Put heavy things on manhole covers outside the house so they don't float away and leave a
If you have to leave, lock all door and windows so nothing can get stolen in your absence.
Get children and pets safely inside your house. Don't watch the water rise from your door or
try to walk or drive across flooded areas. This is dangerous. Floods can rise very quickly.
Help from others:
You can buy things from some companies that
stop water getting into your house, such as sand
bags and flood gates. SEPA has a list of
products and companies.
If you are being flooded from a sewer you can
call Scottish Water on 0845 600 8855.
Your friends and family can help you and let
you stay with them if you have to leave your
If you think you might get flooded, you can listen to Floodline
or the local radio.
The fire brigade may pump water out of your house.
If the flood is caused by a blocked river or stream, e.g. through a fallen tree, the council may
help by unblocking the watercourse or by diverting the water.
The town or council may use its flood defences to stop the water from reaching your house.
Sand bags are being used to divert the water away from houses.
Part 5 - Flood prevention:
Flooding is a natural event. It occurs when there is heavy rainfall making rivers burst their banks.
It can also happen at the coast when there are very high tides or storms. Flooding also happens
when there is a blocked drain and water has no where to go to. This is called sewer flooding. This
means that places near the sea or on flood plains are in most in danger of getting flooded.
The climate is changing and we can expect more heavy rainfall. The sea levels may also rise. This
makes flooding more likely in the future. However there are ways to prevent flooding:
The government cannot completely prevent flooding but they can minimise the risk of flooding.
The Scottish Executive do the planning for the flood defences and also pay for things.
SEPA(Scottish Environment Protection Agency) assist Local Authorities by giving them
information on flood risks and giving advice on the preparation and maintenance of flood defences.
The Environment Agency and DEFRA:
The Environment Agency and DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
build new flood gates to stop flooding and also spend a lot of money in maintaining the existing
flood barriers such as the Themes flood barrier. They have also made a detailed flood map showing
them where flooding is likely.
Instead of using expensive flood barriers, the government is now trying to use more natural flood
management methods called soft defences or managed realignment. This means the floodwater is
redirected to salt marshes, mudflats or floodplains. The advantages are that this is cheaper and even
helps wildlife, but soft defences use up more space. In Perth, the floodwater from the river Tay is
redirected into the Inch when there is a risk of flooding. This is an example of managed
The Scottish Executive and Scottish Water are investing in sustainable urban drainage systems
(SUDS) to decrease the chance of sewer flooding in cities.
The Environment Agency also regularly
dredges channels and watercourses, de-silts
rivers and cut back the plants along rivers
where necessary. This stops the rivers from
blocking up and overflowing.
There are other flood defences like
pumping stations and which pump water
away from built up flood plains.
Finally, the government should discourage
people from building houses on floodplains
and in low-lying areas with a flood risk. At
the moment they are doing the opposite!
The Thames flood barrier
es for any
and keep it
If there are
any blocked drains they will clear them.
The council will also assess the need for new water mitigation schemes and flood defences, but it
will only build them if the government pays for them.
Maintaining drains and sewers on their property is the responsibility of every home owner. If
anyone sees a blocked drain in the street, they should call 01738 625 411, otherwise it could lead to
flooding when it rains.
People should also look at flood plans before buying a house. If the house is build on a floodplain,
they should know about that and realise that flooding may occur!
There are many websites which offer advice and information on flooding. I have used the following
websites for this report:
The Environment Agency and DEFRA also provide fact sheets online. I have used the following
During a flood
After a flood
I have also used pictures from Google to illustrate my report.