A flood resilience expert from Kingston University (KU) has urged people to take care of their mental health in the wake of Storm Dennis.

Dr Tim Harries is a senior research fellow at KU and specialises in flood resilience among householders and small businesses.

On Thursday (February 20) he highlighted the stress associated with flooding and urged residents impacted by the recent floods brought by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara to take care of their mental wellbeing as well as their material possessions.

"It’s extremely stressful to stay in your home and watch the water come rushing in, so you should do what you can to protect your home and move possessions out of reach of the water – but then get out,” Harries said.

One way of doing protecting your mental wellbeing during such a harrowing experience is to make sure one saves the things with sentimental and emotional value to them if their homes are hit by flooding:

"You should prioritise the most precious items – those with emotional value that cannot be replaced, such as photo albums or a child’s favourite teddy bear,” Harries said.

According to the Environment Agency, over 400 homes and businesses across the UK were flooded in the wake of Storm Dennis, with areas of Surrey including Leatherhead being hit by overflowing waters.

The government's flood warnings information service still has five 'Severe' flood warnings, 74 red flood 'warnings' and 142 flood 'alerts' in place currently.

Harries previously conducted research that showed how difficult recovering from flooding can be for residents.

Having others around one to talk to about the experience can be beneficial, the KU academic said:

"Make sure you have got people to talk to about it – both now and in the coming months.

"This could be neighbours who shared the experience, but also qualified counsellors or people who are just good listeners."

Harries added that going forward the idea of flooding in the UK needed to be normalized so that more people were mentally prepared in the event of future floods — something climate experts say are increasingly likely.