26 November 2012
For further information
Nichola Jones 020 7877 7618 / NJones@redcross.org.uk
On call mobile: 0771 0391703
Red Cross urges people to protect themselves as emergency teams assist victims of flooding crisis
After days of heavy rain and treacherous weather, the British Red Cross is urging people to prioritise preparing for flooding.
Simon Lewis, the organisation’s head of emergency planning and response, today warned:
“We have seen this week’s dangerous weather conditions leave thousands of people with damaged homes, without power and facing a major clean-up operation.
“Our teams are assisting the communities left in crisis by this flooding and have witnessed the devastation that has been caused.
“It is vital that everyone take steps to minimise the impact in case they are affected.
"Flooding can happen very quickly, leaving little time to prepare so don't wait for the worst to happen - if you're in an area at risk, get ready."
The British Red Cross has issued a raft of advice for those in flood risk areas which includes:
• Prepare an emergency kit including emergency numbers, insurance policy, first aid kit, torch and water.
• Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag.
• Move valuables and important items or furniture upstairs if possible.
• Pack essential items you will need if evacuated – medication, clothing, toiletries and items for children.
• Turn off the mains power and water, and take mobile phones and chargers with you in the event of an evacuation.
• Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater – just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
• Don't walk on sea defences or riverbanks, cross river bridges if possible.
• Avoid contact with floodwater where possible – it may be contaminated with sewage.
• Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
• See if vulnerable neighbours need any support.
People should also check the websites of the Environment Agency for updates on flood risks and weather warnings.
Red Cross head of emergency response and planning, Simon Lewis, is available for interview on:
• How Red Cross emergency teams have been assisting with evacuations, flood advice, distributing emergency supplies to affected areas.
• Steps people and communities can take to prepare for flooding and best cope if the worst happens.
• How local authorities, the emergency services and voluntary sector agencies can work together to build community resilience.
Please contact Nichola Jones on 0207 877 7618 or email NJones@redcross.org.uk
For more information on flood preparedness, go to www.redcross.org.uk/prepareforfloods
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.