Advice on what to do to stay safe in a flood and clearing up afterwards.
The latest weather forecast can be found on the Met Office website:
For the latest travel information visit the Highways Agency website:
In the event of a flood it is important to focus on the safety of you and your family.
If it is about to flood, DO THESE THINGS NOW:
- Tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio.
- Switch off your electricity / gas supplies.
- If you have a flood plan, put it into action.
- Move important items to safety
If there's time, fit any flood protection products you might have such as:
- Flood boards
- Airbrick covers
- Sandbags or alternative barriers
- Toilet bungs (only needed for downstairs toilets)
- Any other flood product
You should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. Put the safety of people first and listen to advice from the Police and the Emergency Services. Remember that their concern is for your safety.
Contact local builders merchants for stocks of bags and sand. You can also find suppliers of modern non-sand bags designed for flooding on the National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages.
We do not supply sandbags to individual householders and businesses. A few local authorities provide sandbags to people immediately at risk, but the majority don’t. You should check with your local authority in advance to find out what their policy is and how you can get access to sandbags before flooding starts.
Stay alert to localised flooding
Also known as 'surface water flooding'. This usually happens where drainage systems are unable to cope with heavy spells of rainfall. We cannot give you a direct warning for this type of flooding.
Instead we forecast where it might be a problem in certain counties and put a daily flood risk forecast on our website. You can also find out about the possibility of 'surface water' flooding in your area by checking local weather forecasts.
Floodwater is dangerous
- Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over.
- Two feet of water will float your car.
- Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers.
- Don’t walk or drive through flood water.
- Don’t let children play in flood water.
- Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
- When water levels are high be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over.
- Culverts are dangerous when flooded.
- Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
- Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated.
This leaflet is also available in three audio guides:
Please note these files are very large and will take time to download.