The Environment Agency has produced a leaflet about what to do before, during and after a flood:
Some simple things you should do:
What to do when you hear a flood warning
- Listen out for warnings on radio and TV and phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for more information.
- Move pets, vehicles, valuables and other items to safety.
- Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly.
- Put sandbags (see below) or flood boards in place - but make sure your property is ventilated. Plug sinks/baths and put a sandbag in the toilet bowl to prevent backflow.
- Be ready to turn off gas and electricity (get help if needed). Unplug electrical items and move them upstairs if possible.
- Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities - you may be evacuated to a rest centre.
- Do as much as you can in daylight. Doing anything in the dark will be a lot harder, especially if the electricity fails.
Stay safe in a flood
- Floods can kill. Don't try to walk or drive through floodwater - six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car. Manhole covers may have come off and there may be other hazards you can't see.
- Never try to swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.
- Don't walk on sea defences, riverbanks or cross river bridges if possible - they may collapse in extreme situations or you may be swept off by large waves. Beware of stones and pebbles being thrown up by waves.
- Avoid contact with floodwater - it may be contaminated with sewage.
Further information is available from this leaflet on flooding advice & guidance.
It may not always be possible for communities to be reached immediately during an emergency such as flooding. The government suggest that communities could use local resources and knowledge to help themselves during an emergency in a way that complements the local emergency services. Useful links:
How prepared is your community and what can you do?
- Are you aware of the risks you and your community might face? For example, flooding.
- How can you help yourself and those around you during an emergency?
- What can you do to get involved in emergency planning in your community?
Your community will be better prepared to cope during and after an emergency when everyone works together using their local knowledge. Things like understanding what requirements most-at-need groups may have in an emergency can make a real difference.
Identifying and planning for the risks you may encounter during a severe flood, heat-wave or snowfall could help in reducing the potential impact on you, your family and the wider community. Being prepared and able to respond to an emergency can often help people recover more quickly. This illustrates how successful community resilience can be and why many communities are already engaged in this planning.
Community emergency plan toolkit
Download the Community Emergency Plan Toolkit - a step by step guide to help your community produce a Community Emergency Plan.
Community emergency plan template
Download the Community Emergency Plan Template - this template is designed for you to fill in the details of your community emergency preparations.