January 8, 2014 2.39 pm This story is over 93 months old

How to protect your home during floods

Keeping flood safe: The Lincoln area has got off pretty lightly in the recent storms. Hopefully our luck will hold, but if you are affected by bad weather, Amanda McSorley from CAB has some tips and advice.

The Lincoln area has got off pretty lightly in the recent storms, but we will all have seen the news stories about people losing their homes and even their lives in the recent bad weather.

As I write this, the wind is howling outside, and I’ve just seen the latest weather and flood warnings for the UK from the Met Office and the Environment Agency. Hopefully our luck will hold, but if you are affected by bad weather, Citizens Advice can direct you to all the help that is available.

One of the first things to do is to check your insurance policy to see what you are covered for and the quicker you can contact your insurer the better. Following the storms that hit large parts of the country in October the Association of British Insurers has posted a lot of useful information on its website.

People whose homes have been badly hit by the weather may be able to get help from their local authority in the form of a payment for essential items to be able get back into their homes.

The Lincolnshire Community Assistance Scheme has been running from April 1 this year to help people in urgent need. Usually help is only available to people on certain welfare benefits (Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit), but other low income households can qualify if they are facing an extreme situation and meet other criteria. Call 01522 782155 for more info on this scheme.

People receiving the benefits listed above may also be able to get a budgeting loan to replace damaged items from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

If you rent your home and it suffers damage you need to find out who is responsible for the repairs and what happens if you have to move out while those repairs are being carried out.

CAB’s award-winning website has information on tenants’ rights and how to get compensation if you experience power cuts and your supply is not restored in reasonable time.

If you are unable to work because of the weather this does not necessarily mean you should not be paid. If you are willing to work but unable to do so due to reasons beyond your control, such as transport problems or your workplace has been damaged, you have should still get paid unless specific terms in your contract state otherwise. If your employer is refusing to pay or making deductions from your wages in these circumstances a CAB adviser could help.

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Amanda McSorley joined the Research and Campaigns Team at Lincoln and District Citizens Advice Bureau in February 2013. She is a former journalist and newspaper editor, with 30 years’ experience of covering the issues that impact people’s lives.