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Sending out an SOS

18 March 2014

The start of 2014 has seen Britain blighted by a deluge of heavy rain and flooding. Thousands of properties have been flooded over recent weeks after what is being called the "most exceptional period of rainfall" to hit parts of England and Wales for nearly 250 years. The amount of flood water in some areas has been described as "verging on the Biblical" by an Environment Agency spokesman. 

The disaster recovery and restoration specialists in our industry are among the unsung heroes that have been working around the clock to respond to the unique challenges posed by these unusual circumstances. They have been on the frontline carrying out the essential work of cleaning up, drying and restoring homes and businesses.

Cleaning up the aftermath of a flood quickly and efficiently is essential for saving water-damaged equipment and buildings, as well as minimising any risk to the environment. Proper restoration is also vital to prevent the development of health problems.

"Much of the work related to flooding goes unnoticed and unrecognised but, when it occurs, response has to be immediate," Claire Johnson from the British Damage Management Association (BDMA) says.

"In this instance, the timing meant hundreds of people worked non-stop through the Christmas and New Year break, highlighting the dedication and commitment of individuals from a wide range of organisations without whom the situation could have been much worse."

Inside the February/March issue of Cleaning Matters, Claire discusses how improvements are being made in flood response and in the way water-damaged properties are recovered and restored. ServiceMaster Clean also explains how it has been helping businesses get back on their feet following flooding.

If you've been affected by the floods, information on what to do before, during and after a flood is freely available from a number of sources. For example, the Environment Agency has a dedicated section on its website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/ and you can download or order free flood support literature for personal use or distribution at the BDMA by going to www.bdma.org.uk