News release text
With forecasts of heavy rainfall, strong winds and further flood warnings in place for parts of Kent and Medway today (Friday 14 February), residents are being reminded of key safety messages to help keep themselves safe.
As well as ensuring garden furniture and play equipment is secure, drivers are being urged to plan their journeys and take extra care on the roads.
People are urged to avoid driving or walking through floodwater. Fast-flowing water that is just 15cm deep can be enough to knock an adult off their feet. Residents are also being reminded that during flooding and severe weather, the emergency services will be very busy so only call for immediate assistance if there is a risk to life or serious property or environmental damage.
People who are older, vulnerable or living on their own might become concerned or isolated at this time. Residents are asked to check in on friends, family and neighbours to make sure they are alright – and arrange to be in touch during bad weather. If you are going to be staying at home, ensure you have a working smoke alarm and take care with cooking, candles and electrical safety.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service has staff and special equipment on standby to respond, including high volume pumps and water safety units such as boats. Residents are reminded that pumping out may not always be the immediate solution but KFRS is working closely with partner agencies to ensure it can respond appropriately when people need help.
You can find information on home fire safety and road safety at our website www.kent.fire-uk.org
The Highways Agency has tips on driving in severe weather at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/seasonal-advice/make-time-for-winter/driving-in-severe-weather
Report low and grounded power cables to UK Power Networks on 0800 783 88 66 or 01243 50 88 66 in the South East (Kent, Sussex and Surrey). Do not approach within 5m of low or grounded power cables. There website has more info at www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/
Meanwhile, advice for those dealing with flooding is available on the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods and from Floodline on 0845 988 1188. Up-to-date information is available on Twitter @EnvAgencySE and by following #floodaware.