Prepare for a flood

Is my home likely to flood?

You can check if your home is at risk of flooding by entering your postcode on this page of the Environment Agency website Environment Agency This link will take you to an external website...

How do I know if a flood is likely to happen?

Flood warnings are issued by the Environment Agency. Find out if there are any current flood warnings in force Environment Agency This link will take you to an external website... . You can also view a live flood warning map Environment Agency This link will take you to an external website... .

If you live in the flood plain you can sign up to the Environment Agency's flood alert system which will enable you to receive early warnings by telephone. For more information about this service and to sign up to it call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

What should I do if a flood warning is issued?

First and foremost stay calm and stay safe. The Environment Agency offers the following advice for what you should do to prepare if a warning is issued:

  • Listen out for warnings on local radio and TV and phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for more information.
  • Move pets, vehicles, valuables and other items to safety.
  • Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly.
  • Put sandbags or flood boards in place - but make sure your property is ventilated. Plug sinks/baths and put a sandbag in the toilet bowl to prevent backflow.
  • Be ready to turn off gas and electricity (get help if needed). Unplug electrical items and move them upstairs if possible.
  • Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities - you may be evacuated to a rest centre.
  • Do as much as you can in daylight. Doing anything in the dark will be a lot harder, especially if the electricity fails.

Will the council help to protect my home from flooding?

District Councils have no statutory obligation to provide flood defences to protect homes. Responsibility for protecting homes and businesses lies primarily with owners and/or occupiers. However, the council will always try to provide assistance where it is considered most needed and if resources, circumstances and budgets permit. The council has a limited supply of sandbags which are used primarily for the protection of vulnerable homes when occupied homes are in imminent danger of flooding. We cannot provide sandbags for protecting gardens or outbuildings.

How can I protect my home from flooding?

Sandbags are most commonly used during floods and most builders' merchant will stock sandbags - you could also try Floodsax This link will take you to an external website... , a lightweight, easy-to-store alternative to sandbags. 

The Environment Agency gives more information on preparing your property for flooding Environment Agency This link will take you to an external website...

Flood insurance

If a property has suffered from flood damage in the past, if there is a history of flooding in your neighbourhood, or you are within an identified flood risk area, it can sometimes be difficult to find insurance cover.

Defra have produced a guide which provides information to help people obtain a suitable insurance policy.

It explains how to get specialist help and what information you may be asked to give, provides tips on how to reduce the impact of flooding and the last section of the guide provides useful information on key organisations – their responsibilities and contact details and relevant websites for further reading.

See for details.

Last reviewed: 06 - 02 - 2017

Was this page helpful?YesNo