Before a flood
There are things you can do to reduce the impact of flooding and preparing in advance will help you keep calm during a stressful situation.
What you can do now
- Get home insurance - Make sure you have the correct home insurance cover in case your property floods. The cost of recovery after a flood is on average £20,000. The Flood Re website has been set up to help those households who live in a flood risk area find affordable home insurance.
- Make a flood plan – Having a flood plan will help you decide what practical actions to take before and during a flood to help reduce the impact of flooding to your home and in your community. See the Environment Agency's advice on how to create a personal flood plan
- Prepare a flood kit – Put together a kit of essential items you would need to take with you if you had to evacuate your home including important documents, medication, and mobile phone. Download our useful flood kit checklist (PDF, 180kb).
- Sandbags – Buying sandbags might help but check the gov.uk website for advice on sandbags and how best to protect your home. The county council does not provide sandbags but you can buy them from your local DIY store and keep them in a shed or garage in case of an emergency.
- Flood protection products - If you live in a high risk area or near a water course, you may want to consider investing in additional flood protection measures. The National Flood Forum has produced an independent directory of flood protection products and services called the Blue Pages.
- Keep your drains and grids clear – Removing leaves and debris that are covering the top of your grids will help prevent blockages which could cause localised flooding in heavy rainfall.
- If you own property next to a water course - for example a river, culvert, brook or mill stream, it's your responsibility to keep the bed and banks clear of anything that could cause an obstruction and increase flood risk. Find about your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership or contact the Environment Agency if you have any queries about your responsibilities.
Preparing for reservoir flooding
Trained officials work hard to prepare for emergencies, but it’s important that if you live near a reservoir you are prepared and aware of what to do in an emergency to keep you and your family safe in the unlikely event that a reservoir dam failed.
- Put together a grab bag of things you might need in an emergency.
- Know who you would need to contact and how.
- Be vigilant and be prepared to act quickly to get yourself to safety.
If there is an immediate risk to your life or you are trapped by floodwater call 999 and follow their advice.
What you can do
Watch our short animation for top tips and advice about preparing for a flood.