Flooding emergencies

Owners or occupiers are mainly responsible for protecting their homes and businesses. The law does not require councils to provide flood defences to protect homes but we will always try to give assistance where it is considered most needed, if possible.

We have a limited supply of sandbags. These are used mainly to protect vulnerable homes that are occupied and in immediate danger of flooding. Sandbags will not be supplied for the protection of gardens or outbuildings.

Flood water is dangerous:

  • 6 inches of fast flowing water can knock you over
  • 2 feet of water can 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 flood defences or river banks
  • bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over when water levels are high
  • culverts, allowing water to flow under roads or railways, are dangerous when flooded
  • look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees
  • wash your hands thoroughly if you touch flood water as it may be contaminated

For flood warnings:

  • check the GOV.UK: flood information service website for latest information, or phone the 24 hour Floodline on 0345 988 1188
  • alert neighbours, especially if they are elderly
  • block doors - with flood boards if available - and air vents with plastic sheeting and sandbags
  • move electrical and valuable items to a higher level (check your insurance cover)
  • bring pets indoors
  • monitor flood warnings and weather reports
  • prepare to turn off gas, electricity and water supplies - store some drinking water in clean containers
  • prepare sandbags, protecting only the building rather than lining the perimeter of your land, which reduces flood capacity
  • register at GOV.UK: sign up for flood warnings to receive warnings direct
  • listen to local radio
  • check Digital TV page 405
  • if life is at risk, call 999

The GOV.UK: flooding and extreme weather web pages give more information on preparing for flooding, what to do during a flood, and what to do after a flood.