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Flooding and your static home

A frequent concern of owners of static caravans relates to what they should do about flooding risk.

This is a very wide and complicated subject. Here we can only touch on a few of the most general aspects of this risk and some of the practicalities.

Assessing the risk

Nobody can tell you, unconditionally, whether or not your caravan and its site are going to be subject to flooding – the effects of which can obviously be severe.

It is true that some sites are regarded as high risk. Typically they will be in the vicinity of a stream or river, close to a coastal area or perhaps nearby to a natural lake.

Insurance providers will take the history of the site into account when considering an appropriate premium. In some exceptionally high-risk areas or those with a documented history of major flooding events, it may prove difficult, though not impossible, to find cost-effective static caravan insurance flood risk protection.

However, it is equally the case that sometimes previously untouched sites regarded as being at relatively low risk, have also been flooded in highly unusual weather situations.

Whether your static caravan insurance provider regards the site as high risk or not, you should always be prepared for the possibility and consider drafting a plan to cope, should the worst happen.

General principles

Whether your site is low or high risk, it might be prudent to consider some of the following:

  • try to select caravans that are located on higher ground within the site rather than lower;
  • construct carefully, perhaps with advice, your flood plan. That essentially will tell you exactly what you have to do should you be, however unexpectedly, hit by flooding;
  • you should be absolutely clear where your gas, water and electrical master switches are. Ensure these are all switched off in the event of flooding. While a site owner should also have such a plan, don’t rely on what they may do in these areas but take your own steps to keep yourself safe;
  • check that you have adequate emergency lighting and perhaps portable heating of types that cannot be put at risk by a flood;
  • keep a supply of good waterproof clothes and boots to hand. Remember, clothing that can cope with heavy rainfall is not the same as that required to protect you if you are wading through perhaps knee-deep water;
  • store some emergency high energy foodstuffs with a long shelf life in waterproof containers.

Specifics for high flood risk areas

In such situations and in addition to the above basics:

  • check that the site owners are aware of the government’s guidelines for mitigating flooding risks in high-risk areas;
  • be certain that you know where the emergency assembly and evacuation points are for your site. Do not leave trying to find this out until a crisis has struck;
  • fit flotation devices on the underside of your static, raise it by approximately 0.5 metres above the ground on axle stands and above all, make sure it is firmly anchored into position;
  • it would also be sensible to check that you fully understand your static caravan insurance position in terms of the provider’s requirements relating to maintaining your cover in place and any specific conditions that might apply.