Flooding Advice

After flooding advice

  • Before any clean-up begins care should be taken to check for the presence of rodents in the dwelling. Seal all openings into the dwelling to prevent further entry of rodents. Wash and sanitise surfaces that may have been contaminated.
  • Always assume flood water is contaminated.
  • Wear suitable protective clothing: (waterproof boots, plastic or rubber gloves and other protective clothing, face masks etc.), if needed to avoid contact with flood water.
  • Do not underestimate the depth of water as road surfaces or manhole covers may be damaged.
  • Avoid contact with flood water if possible.
  • If you have to walk through a flood water do not contaminate an un flooded part of your home.
  • Destroy any food that has come into contact with flood water.
  • Do not let children play in flood water.
  • Consider disposal of toys that have come into contact with flood water.
  • Personal hygiene and particularly hand hygiene is extremely important in a flood area.
  • If you have any cuts or grazes cover them with a plaster.
  • Only come into contact with flood water where unavoidable or necessary and for the shortest period of time.
  • Avoid river banks and areas under water which may be damaged.
  • Keep electrical cables out of water.
  • Take the advice of the emergency services throughout the flooding period.

Flooding Advice

Office of Public Works

If a flood threatens your area there are a number of steps you can take to minimise damage to your property, but remember safety should always be your first concern.

Be prepared - Inside your house

  • Move valuables and other items to safety. Place them above the flood level or upstairs
  • Put sandbags at any openings where the water could gain access
  • Turn off gas and electricity
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home or business. Protect yourself, your family and others that need your help
  • Have warm clothing and wellingtons ready
  • Have medication to hand (if needed)
  • Check water/food stocks
  • Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities. For your
  • safety you may be evacuated to an emergency centre

Be prepared - Outside your house

  • Move your car to high ground if possible 
  • Remember that floodwater could get into your garage so move any chemicals or fuel to ensure that they do not spill into the floodwater and cause an additional hazard 
  • Weigh down any manhole covers with sandbags or heavy objects. These could open during a flood and cause a hazard 
  • Close off the flow valves on propane tanks, oil drums, or other fuel containers that supply your home through pipes and fittings 
  • Unplug any exterior electrical connections such as outdoor lighting, pond pumps and filters 

General Safety advice

  • Don’t try to walk or drive through floodwater 
  • If possible avoid contact with floodwater as it may be contaminated or polluted 
  • Take care if you have to walk through shallow water – manhole covers may have come off and there may be other underwater hazards that you cannot see 
  • Never try to swim through fast-flowing water – you may get swept away or struck by an object in the water 

More information

You will find detailed information and advice for dealing with all aspects of flooding from the website www.flooding.ie. Further advice may also be obtained from the Office of Public Works by emailing info@opw.ie.

Last update:04/02/2014

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