Before, During and After a Flood

There are a number of actions that you are recommended to take before a flood, during a flood and after a flood to make you more resilient and ensure that flooding damage is minimised.

Before a flood

  • Consider creating a householder flood plan which may include:
    • a list of useful contact details including tradespeople and accommodation arrangements
    • detailed photos of your property and its contents (to help with insurance claims)
    • copies of your home and contents insurance cover
    • locations of valves and stop-taps for gas, water and electricity
    • emergency supplies of medication, water, first aid kit, blankets, a torch etc
    • routes of emergency evacuation in the event of a flood
  • Move personal documents and irreplaceable items to a higher floor.
  • Sign up to the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning Service, where possible.
  • Consider making your property more flood resilient, including:
    • raising the threshold levels for doors and air bricks etc, where possible
    • installing flood resistant walls and gates around your property
    • apply a waterproof protective coating to outside walls
    • install non-return valves in waste pipes and outlet pipes
    • install water resistant external doors
    • install/have available pump systems to remove water from your property
    • raise electrical sockets, TV points and any white goods to a higher level.

During a flood event

Your first priority in the event of a potential flood is to look after yourself and the people around you. It is advisable to keep listening to a local radio and monitor weather updates. You should always listen to the emergency services and evacuate when told to do so. Where flooding poses risk to life, always contact the Fire and Rescue Service via the 999 service.  

You should never put yourself or anyone around you at risk however if the water hasn’t reached you then you could:  

  • move your car to a safe place
  • move any essential items upstairs or raise them above the floor
  • collect safe drinking water
  • turn off electricity, gas and water
  • gather spare clothing, food and other supplies
  • locate your pets.

 If the water has reached you then:

  • check on people/pets in your household to ensure they are safe
  • raise or move any items upstairs where safe to do so
  • turn off electricity, gas and water where safe to do so
  • put plugs in sinks/bath and weigh them down
  • evacuate when told to do so and take supplies.

After a flood event

Do not attempt to re-enter your property until you are sure that it is safe to do so. Harmful bacteria can be present in flood water. If flood water is contaminated with sewer waste then the risks can be even higher, so caution is always recommended. In the first instance following a flood, the following points of action and advice are recommended:

  • Contact your insurance company immediately to seek advice on what is required from you in order to make a claim. They may be able to provide temporary accommodation if required or help and advice with the clean-up. You may need to:
    • photograph or film any damaged property
    • keep copies of letters, emails, receipts, etc.
  • Always use protective clothing (waterproof gloves and clothing) and wash hands carefully after handling anything that may have been contaminated by flood water.
  • Remove dirty water and silt from the property (which may require pumping) and ensure that the property is fully dried out.
  • Remove any soft furnishings, food, and electrical items that have been in contact with flood water and dispose of safely.
  • Disinfect all hard, non-porous surfaces, toys, etc in the property and any affected paving and driveways outdoors.


We can provide sandbags to properties that are in immediate danger of flooding to internal living accommodation during an emergency flood event. However, during severe weather, the demand for service will be high and therefore we highly recommend that residents who are at high risk of flooding supply themselves with sandbags and sand which can be positioned in good time in advance of a flood. Sandbags and sand can be purchased from most good builders’ merchants and DIY stores.

Please see the Sandbag Policy page for information on how to request sandbags from the Council.

On this page: