Flood warning for residents ahead of heavy rain

Article date: 16 October 2002

Release sent to newspapers in Nottinghamshire,Leicestershire and West Midlands

The UK's largest insurer Norwich Union is encouraging homeownersto take preventative measures to help minimise flood damage aheadof heavy rain that is anticipated to hit the region this week.

Research from the Environment Agency shows that fewer than onein 20 people – who live or work in flood risk areas –takes any action to prepare for flooding.

However, there are steps residents can take to minimise damageto their homes and belongings, and be well prepared for theworst.

Norwich Union has developed the following advice for homeowners– but reminds them not to put themselves at risk whilstsecuring their home.

  • Protect entrances and external doors with sandbags, ifavailable
  • Where possible, turn off gas and electricity at the mains
  • Ensure you have your insurance documentation to hand withhelpline numbers and other emergency contact numbers
  • If it is safe to do so and you have enough time, movefurniture and electrical items upstairs, and seal any delicateitems in plastic bags to protect them from water damage
  • Pack a small selection of dry clothes and essentialtoiletries, including any medicines
  • If you are unable to leave your property, fill a vacuum flaskwith a hot drink and take items such as a torch, warm clothing, abattery-operated radio (tuned to the local station for updates)and a mobile telephone (if you have one) upstairs, until thedanger has passed or help arrives. Don’t try to walk ordrive through floodwater.

Chris Elliott, head of household products, Norwich UnionInsurance, said: “There are simple precautions residents inNottinghamshire can take to help minimise the damage and heartachefloods can cause.

“But if people have been unlucky enough to already sufferflooding, we recommend they call their insurer’s emergencyhelpline or contact their broker as soon as possible.

“The sooner the damage is reported, the faster insurerscan get experts into your home to assess the damage. However, itcan sometimes take several months for properties to dry out and forresidents to return to their homes.”

To make a claim, policyholders should call Norwich Union on 0800012345 or 0800 222500.

Further information on floods is available athttp://www.norwichuniondirect.co.uk/homedoctor or from theEnvironment Agency flood helpline on 0845 9881188/websitewww.environment-agency.gov.uk

Media contact:
Liz Kennett/David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 63/07786526350

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. In generalinsurance it is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestcompetitor, and has a 19 per cent share of the market.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies, and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at www.aviva.com
  • A selection of images is available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at www.newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN line is available for studio quality broadcast. Callthe press office 08703 66 68 68

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73 Forall other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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