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Last Updated: Tuesday July 24 2007 11:48 GMT

Tips for coping with the floods

Flood warning

Hundreds of thousands of people have been hit by problems connected to the floods which have swept across central and western England.

For many children there, it's the first time they've been affected by flooding and it's raised some questions from kids across the UK.

Here we answer those questions and offer some top tips for coping with the floods.

What effect does flooding have on families?

Experts say the biggest problem is the stress it causes in the family.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands

Many people's lives are turned upside down by flooding, especially if their homes are affected.

People can lose things which are really important to them, or expensive or difficult to replace.

They can also get stressed by not being able to make normal journeys, like getting to work or to the shops.

Losing power and tap water supplies can make family life really hard as well.

Is flood water dangerous?

The water that comes out of our taps has been specially treated to make sure there aren't any germs in it.

Flood water is completely different. It might come from rivers, drains or even sewers, so there could be nasty stuff in it.

Try to avoid playing in flood water and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly if you touch it.

What can we do if we've got limited tap water?

Most people know that it's better for the environment to take showers instead of baths, so that's a start!

Be a good neighbour
Be a good neighbour

Many people who have been affected by shortages have filled large containers with water to keep them going if the supply runs out.

The authorities are helping people who have run out of water by bringing in mini water tanks - called bowsers.

Health experts recommend that water from these tanks is boiled before you use it for cooking, drinking or cleaning your teeth - just to be super safe.

If you boil water, it kills off any germs in it.

Once it's been boiled, you can store the water in containers in the fridge.

If you're REALLY low on water, experts are advising that you don't flush the loo every time you use it.

What else can I do?

Be a good neighbour. Difficult times often bring out the best in people.

If you have elderly neighbours, ask your parents to check if they are OK.

You could also volunteer to do chores for your mum and dad, to make them less stressed.

Some people are treating the crisis as a big adventure.

If you haven't got any power, why not play a board game or read a book?

And some families have been using camping stoves to make their dinner. Now THAT sounds like fun!




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