Be prepared:

If flooding happens:

  • Tune in to your local radio station or call Floodline for updates
  • Report property flooding or river blockages to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60
  • If safe to do so, turn off gas, electricity and water mains before water enters your home
  • Put plugs in sinks and baths and weigh them down
  • Move your family and pets to a higher position with a means of escape
  • Remember to take your emergency 'grab bag'
  • Don't touch sources of electricity when standing in water
  • Never drive through flood water. Eighty per cent of flood deaths occur in vehicles
  • If there's raw sewage in your property, keep out. See if you can stay elsewhere (see Have emergency friends) until it's been cleansed

After a flood:

  • Find out if it's safe to return to your property by checking the media and local authority website
  • Check falling river levels via Floodline and the Environment Agency website
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their advice
  • If you can get in to your property, take photographs for evidence
  • Protect against contamination - always wear waterproof outerwear, Wellingtons and gloves
  • Have your electricity supply checked before switching back on
  • Have your gas or oil central heating checked by a qualified person
  • Your local council may provide help for clearing flood damaged household items and protecting against further flooding (ie: sandbags)
  • For further, detailed advice on what to do before, during and after a flood, check the Environment Agency website