Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to take care following heavy rainfall this week.
The heavy rainfall has led to multiple flood warnings and alerts in force across the South East, including Berkshire.
Flooding can happen very quickly so it’s important to know how to prepare.
Find out whether your area has been given a flood alert or flood warning.
- If you are driving, please do not attempt to drive through flood water. Just 30cm of moving flood water is enough to make your car float and potentially move you into deeper water where you could become stranded.
- Avoid walking near rivers or lakes if water levels are high and, if your journey does take you near water, watch your step and stay as far from the water’s edge as you can. Following heavy rain, riverbanks can become unstable.
- Ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces – do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill.
- Do not turn on gas or electrics if they have got wet – only turn them on when they have been checked by a qualified technician.
- Do not move or ignore road closures signs – they are there for your safety, so please do not ignore them.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 999.
Over the weekend, it is forecast that temperatures will drop. The cold weather can often lead to frozen ponds and waterways including, canals, rivers, and lakes.
Although frozen water may look enticing, it is very dangerous and can have fatal consequences. Ice can easily break and you do not know how thin the ice you are standing on is or how deep the water is below.
Falling into freezing cold water can then cause cold water shock. Cold water shock refers to the reaction of the body to entering cold water. Cold water shock can have a dramatic effect on your body. It can cause you to breathe in water, weaken your muscles, and cause your heart to go into abnormal rhythms. For more ice safety, visit: rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/cold-weather-advice.
For more advice on what to do to prepare and during a flood, visit: gov.uk/help-during-flood.
If available for your neighbourhood, sign up for free flood warning messages or call the Environment Agency’s Floodline: 0345 988 1188.
During this time, if you must travel, be sure to check the latest traffic information prior to leaving: trafficengland.com.