Preparing for flooding

There are certain things you can do to prepare your property for flooding, even before a flood is forecast, so that you have less to do if your property is flooded.

Here are some helpful hints on how to prepare:

  1. How to find out if your property is at risk of flooding
  2. How to get flood alerts and checking the latest info
  3. Making a flood plan
  4. Making a flood kit
  5. Preparing inside your home
  6. Preparing outside

1. How to find out if your property is at risk of flooding

You can find out if your property is at risk from flooding by visiting the Long term flood risk assessment for locations in England page on the website.

2. How to get flood alerts and checking the latest information

If your property is at risk of flooding, you could sign up to the Flood Warning Information Service for free flood warning messages for your area by either registering online for flood warnings or by telephone by calling the Floodline (24 hour service) Tel: 0345 988 1188. The type talk number for this service is 0345 602 6340. These warning messages can be sent direct to you by telephone, mobile, email, SMS text message, fax or pager.

The latest information on flooding can be found on the Flood Warning Information Service or by phoning them on Tel: 0345 988 1188. has information on how to prepare for flooding and improving your property's flood protection.

3. Make a flood plan

  • A flood plan will ensure you and your family know what to do if there's a flood. See the Environment Agency website for advice on how to make a flood plan.
  • The flood plan includes a checklist to help you decide what you need to do before a flood, such as listing which belongings, electrical items and/or furniture you would want to move to safety and what you would want to take with you if you had to evacuate your home.
  • Make sure everyone who lives in your house knows about the plan and understands it.

4. Make a flood kit

Consider putting together a flood kit containing essential items such as:

  • waterproof clothing
  • battery operated radio to monitor local news and weather broadcasts
  • battery operated torch
  • spare batteries for your torch and radio
  • first aid kit
  • bottled water
  • important documents including passport and insurance certificates
  • emergency phone numbers - including your insurance number
  • a fully charged mobile phone with credit and, if possible, a portable charger
  • any medication that you, your family or your pets may need
  • tinned and non-perishable food and a tin opener
  • blankets.

Keep the flood kit in an easily accessible place.

Further information and guidance can be found on the National Flood Forum website.

5. Prepare inside your home

  • Know and label all mains supplies (gas, water and electricity). Include instructions on how to turn them off (which way to turn) beside the 'tap'. Remember, it maybe dark when you need to do so.
  • Protect sentimental things as they cannot be replaced. Think about moving them upstairs permanently so that they are not forgotten in the flood.
  • Keep all important documents in a waterproof sealed container.

6. Preparing outside

  • Consider moving your car to outside the flood risk area.
  • Decide what type of barriers and protection you need to reduce flood water coming into your home, including airbricks, doors and windows.
  • Make sure you buy or construct the barriers you need as soon as possible and do not postpone the project indefinitely. Flood waters can rise quickly, so prepared barriers will be much quicker to fit when flooding is imminent.
  • The Flood Protection Advisor on the National Flood Forum provides advice on protecting residential and/or business properties from flooding.
  • The Property Protection Advisor, funded by DEFRA, can give you online estimates on roughly how much it is likely to cost to protect your property. Please note, this estimate cannot be used to apply for a grant, you would need to submit a quote from your chosen trader.
  • You can buy flood protection products and find service providers on The National Flood Forum Blue Pages Directory website. You may also find it useful to read's advice on how to Prepare your property for flooding.
  • Sandbags can be used for flood protection.

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