We’re hearing more and more that Britain is going to be hit by extremes of weather on a more frequent basis, and as anyone who’s ever been flooded will tell you, it’s a terrible experience.

The disruption is massive and it can last for months. This is definitely a case where prevention is better than cure.

So let’s look at ways to protect your property, both in the short term if flooding is imminent, and with the long term view to making your property more resilient against the threats of the floods and extreme weather.

If you fear a flood is coming, use sandbags or other defenses to block access points so the water doesn’t get in. That’s doors, windows, and don’t forget air bricks. Move as much as you can upstairs or at least high off the ground, and prioritize items of value, both monetary and sentimental. But make sure you don’t injure yourself lifting things that are too heavy.

Keep important documents such as passports, driving licenses, insurance policies in water tight containers in a high place to minimize the risk of them being damaged. 

Also make a list of important phone numbers including your insurer’s emergency helpline, the local council, and emergency services.

Build a flood kit with some food and drink, a torch, a radio and batteries, some blankets and even waterproof clothes if you’ve got them to hand, and make sure that’s accessible and you can move that to a drier place as well.

Turn off your water, gas and electricity at the mains if you suspect there’s going to be a flood, and don’t turn them on again until you get the all clear from the service provider - never enter standing water if you think the electricity might be on.

Longer term flood defense work could include fitting water resistant door and window frames, replacing carpet and vinyl floors with sealed wood or concrete, raising electrical sockets above the level of expected floods, re plastering walls with lime plaster to limit damp, and having a chemical damp proof course installed.

It’s also important to make sure that your home insurance – that’s content and building insurance – is up to date so that you’re adequately protected financially.