My house has been affected by flooding

Useful information if your house has been affected by flooding.

Information, advice and guidance if you are affected by flooding

Financial Support

If you have immediate support needs, you should contact the Advice Line on 01302 735688.

 Insurance Advice

Contacting your insurance company should be your priority. If you have home and contents insurance, make sure you contact your provider before you do anything else. They might need to come and assess the damage for evidence.

Before you start cleaning, take photographs to document damage and record the flood water height. Ask your insurer before removing items that cannot be cleaned, like mattresses and carpets.

Use permanent marker to draw a line on the wall of every room affected by flooding, showing how high the water reached (the builders will need to know this to plan the repairs needed).

Things to ask your insurer:

  • Who are they going to send and what will they do?
  • Is there anything you need to arrange yourself?
  • What is the extent of your policy cover? Are there any gaps?
  • When will they visit? If flooding is still affecting the area they may not be able to get access immediately.
  • Is there anything that you can do yourself before they arrive?
  • Will they provide temporary accommodation – such as a bed and breakfast, a static caravan or a rented house? Reasonable costs are usually covered by your policy.
  • When they are making repairs, will they make your home more resilient to future flooding, such as fitting non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes?

If you haven't got insurance or cannot afford the excess please contact the National Flood Forum who can offer help and support on 01299 403055.

If you find getting insurance difficult in the future, the Flood Re scheme works with some insurance providers to reduce the cost of insuring certain homes against flooding.

Clean Up Support

Bins and waste

Contact our call centre to request clean-up support on 01302 735688.

For more information please head to

Repairs and replacing household items

Take advice from specialists before starting repairs to your property. Most of the repair work after flooding will need to be undertaken by professionals appointed by your insurers. 

Finding a tradesperson (lists and rogue traders advice)

Finding professionals can be made easier by searching - a directory of tradespeople you can trust because their place on the website depends upon their quality of service. This includes, among others:

  • Plumbers
  • Builders
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters & Joiners
  • Painters & Decorators
  • Heating Engineers & Gas Fitters

Unfortunately following an incident of this nature, doorstep criminals have be known to pressure local residents and communities. Feel comfortable in saying "NO" to uninvited salespeople and warn rogue traders / cold callers that they are not welcome.

Take advice from other sources first and don't be pressured into agreeing to work being done. Do not agree for work where the caller says "we are only in the area today'' or for work to start immediately.

For further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer service helpline on 03454 04 05 06

Pest control

  • Doncaster Council provide a pest control service for domestic, commercial and industrial premises. If you notice any activity in your home or garden, please contact our Pest Control team.
  • Any treatments will require a responsible adult (over 18 years old) who is the owner or occupier of the property to be present at the appointment; otherwise treatment will not be carried out.
  • There is comprehensive guidance about how to request treatments, how much it will cost and what will happen.

How and what to clean

  • Once you have a washing machine up and running, clothes that have come into contact with flood water and have been used for cleaning on a 60°C cycle with detergent. Keep these contaminated clothes on a separate cycle from your other clothing that didn’t touch the flood water.
  • You can also wash soft items like bedding and children’s toys on the 60°C cycle with detergent too.
  • Clean all hard surfaces like walls and floors with hot water and detergent.
  • Disinfect work surfaces, plates, pans, cutlery, chopping boards before using them with food. If you have a working dishwasher, this is a more efficient way to clean and sanitise smaller items. If your wooden chopping boards and wooden spoons have touched the flood water you’ll have to throw these away in your black bin.
  • If you think there might be problems with your drainage system, don’t use the washing machine until the water system has been checked.

Drying out

  • Prevent water outdoors from re-entering your home. For example, rainwater from gutters or the roof should drain away from the house and the ground around the house should slope away from the house to keep it dry.
  • When given the all-clear from your electric and gas companies, you can use your heating, fans, dehumidifiers and good ventilation to help dry out your home. Keep the thermostat between 20°C to 22°C for steady drying. Don’t use petrol or diesel generators indoors as the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which can kill. Fans should be placed at a window or door to blow the air outwards rather than inwards, so not to spread the moulds.
  • If you have air bricks to any under floor spaces, make sure that these are unblocked to give cross ventilation. As floorboards and walls continue to dry out, any loose material and dust need to be vacuumed up on a regular basis.
  • You might see mould, this should disappear as your home dries out but if it continues, contact a specialist cleaner.
  • If you find dead rodents and pests on your property after the flood, these can be put in your bin in a plastic bag, wearing rubber gloves.

Contaminated Land / Gardens

The situation in Doncaster is such that:

  • Good personal hygiene should be maintained as usual when doing any gardening on land that had been flooded – wear gardening gloves and thoroughly wash hands when you have finished before doing anything else.
  • The continued rain and sunlight will have a natural cleansing effect on the soil so gardens should have returned to normal by spring when most people return to outdoor activities.
  • We are not aware of any specific chemical contamination of areas and any levels of any contamination are likely to be very low and consistent with normal levels found in gardens from routinely used pesticides and herbicides.
The Environment Agency recommends that:
  • Young children stay away from affected grassed or paved areas until they have been cleaned down and restored to their normal condition.
  • The best way of protecting health is always to wash your hands before eating or preparing food
  • Where sports fields and pitches have been flooded, gross contamination (litter, rubbish etc. carried in by the flood) should be removed. Wear protective clothing – waterproof boots, plastic apron and gloves – while cleaning up. Cover any open cuts with waterproof plasters. Wash your hands with soap and water after being in contact with floodwater or items that have been contaminated. Following this, the appropriate action to return the pitch to a good playing condition should be carried out according to professional advice.


  • Contaminated sandbags – If you have a sandbag that has been touched by flood water / sewage / oil / fuel, this is now classed as contaminated waste.
  • Untouched sandbags – these have a 3 month shelf-life.

Housing Support

What do I do if I need temporary accommodation?

If you are a tenant of St Leger Homes, Please contact them on 01302 862 862.

If you're not a tenant of St Leger Homes you will need to contact your insurer as your policy should cover temporary accommodation. If it doesn’t and you can’t stay with family or friends please visit our Home Options service desk at the Doncaster Council Civic building in Doncaster town centre or call 01302 736000 Monday to Friday 08:30 - 17:00 or email: 

Information for Landlords and Tenants

To reduce the risks of flooding, both landlords and tenants should:

  • Check their flood risk even if they have already done so previously, as the Environment Agency regularly updates its flood zone maps.
  • Be mindful of the risk of surface water and flash flooding, even if the property is located away from a river and outside the identified flood zones. Flash flooding is becoming increasingly common as climate change takes effect.
  • Sign up for free flood warnings, which will alert landlords when river flooding is possible/occurring and give tenants vital time to prepare when an alert is issued. Also check Met Office weather warnings, river level data, and information from the local community/flood group.

Landlords are advised to:

  • Inform tenants of their flood risk and encourage them to plan ahead for possible flooding. Preparation is a vital step in reducing damage to the property and their possessions.
  • Get a surveyor to help find the most effective property-level flood protection solutions. The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has a list of professional chartered surveyors that can be browsed by postcode.
  • Take steps to reduce the damage caused by floodwater entering the property. Positioning electrical and plumbing services at high levels and using building materials that will not be affected by water will reduce the costs and time taken to repair the property after flooding.
  • Consider installing measures to help prevent floodwater from entering the property, such as flood gates, air bricks and non-return valves. They should also show tenants how to deploy these if required.
  • Check, test and maintain flood protection products in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If repairs or adjustments are needed and the landlord is uncertain on how to do them, they should contact the installer who fitted them.

Tenants are advised to:

  • Keep an up-to-date flood plan. This can remind them to store sentimental items and important documents upstairs, and move valuable items to safety, switch off gas, electric and water, and roll up carpets, line doors and raise furniture where safe to do so in the event of a flood. A template can be found at
  • Keep a flood pack containing essential items such as a list of useful contacts, clean water and prescription medication, to keep them safe in an emergency.

What to do if flooding occurs:

  • Unless this is caused by the tenant, landlords are legally responsible for repairs to the structure of the building and must get water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heating back up and running as soon as possible.
  • Although landlords are not required to find accommodation for displaced tenants, they may have to assist with any costs that arise if the property is so badly damaged that the tenant needs to relocate whilst repairs are made.
  • When flooding occurs, tenants are advised to tell the landlord as soon as possible and document the flooding where safe to do so in order in case they need to put in a claim later on. This may include taking photos and saving receipts from hotels they have to stay in if the property is too badly damaged to inhabit.
  • Tenants are responsible for their personal possessions and should take simple measures to limit damage to the property in the event of flooding where this is possible and does not pose a danger to life. Such measures might include lining the doors of the affected room with towels or rags and using buckets to collect water. 
  • Advice for tenants who need to move out temporarily can be found on the Citizens Advice website

Moving Back Home

Contacting your insurance company should be your priority, please see the insurance section above.

It's important to stay safe, make sure you follow advice from the emergency services, and do not return home until it's safe to do so.

You can read information from the Environment agency about what to do before, during and after a flood.

Do not turn on electrical or gas appliances. It’s only safe to do so when they’ve been checked by a qualified technician.

If you smell gas or suspect a leak, do not switch on any switches in the property (lights, sockets) as any damaged wiring can cause a spark and also do not light any sort of flame or heat source. Turn off the main gas valve, open all windows, and leave your house immediately. Notify Gas Emergencies on 0800 111999 24 hour line and do not return until you are told it is safe.

Always get a qualified professional to check that your electrical appliance is safe to use. If there is major flood damage to the electrics caused by clean or contaminated water, then it is likely that parts of the electrical installation will need to be rewired.

You should not unplug any electrical items while they’re in floodwater as the electric cords or even outlets are submerged, you could have a very dangerous situation on your hands. The electricity can charge the standing water, and you could be electrocuted.

St Leger Tenants

If you are a St Leger Homes tenant and have any questions, please contact them on 01302 862 862.

Staying Healthy


General advice for storage of medicines during and following a flood:

  • Some medicines need to be stored in a refrigerator to work effectively. In a situation where you do not have access to power or a refrigerator following a flood, you should place your medicines in a clean, insulted bag and leave outside the window.
  • Before doing this, check the temperature is not less than -2 degrees or above 8 degrees. Use a thermometer to check and monitor the temperature range.
  • If you do not have power or access to a refrigerator and temperatures are warm, store your medicines in a clean, airtight container and immerse in cold water, in a dark, breezy location. Use a thermometer to check the temperature range does not rise above 8 degrees. If you have an ice wrap, put this around the container rather than cold water.
  • Some medication has to be stored in a dry environment, which means they can be at risk of deteriorating if left in a damp property or area. Where this is the case, store them in an airtight container. If you have access to silica gels, include these in the container as they can absorb moisture.
  • If your neighbours have power or their property is dry, you may wish to approach them to temporarily store medicines on your behalf.
  • If you still have concerns about safe and effective storage of your medication, contact your local pharmacy.

Mental Health

Having a flooded home is very stressful. If you need emotional support or you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health, contact family and friends, your doctor or an organisation like the Red Cross  or the Samaritans . Also, take a look at the Public Health England guide to mental wellbeing after a flood. Advice will also be available on the Your Life Doncaster Website .

General Hygiene

To ensure you stay healthy and reduce the risk of infection, regular hand washing is vital. 

Health support and advice

If you have any health concerns or you need to access health and care services, there are many available in Doncaster. Contact your local practice if you need an appointment with a nurse or GP and they will be able to help.

Local pharmacies continue to be open as normal – they can help with minor conditions and ailments.

If you need help out of hours, please visit Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group’s website. There’s a range of health and care services such as GP out of hours service and the Doncaster Same Day Health Centre.

Food and Water

If you notice a change in the colour, taste or smell of your tap water, contact Yorkshire Water directly on 0345 124 2424. 

Don’t eat food that’s touched floodwater. If your electricity is off, don’t eat fresh food from a fridge after four hours or from a freezer after 24 hours.


Return to the Flood advice homepage


Last updated: 16 June 2021 12:10:19