The Environment Agency provide a dedicated Floodline information service on 0845 988 1188. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Flood warning information can be obtained through the Environment Agency's website, which is updated every 15 minutes. You can search for flood warnings by postcode, river, or town.
Am I at risk of flooding?
The Flood Map on the Environment Agency's website can establish how vulnerable your property may be to flooding. See if you are at risk.
Our flooding advice leaflet [PDF 138KB] recommends steps to help protect your home prior to a flood and advice on what to do after a flood.
Information on how to prepare for a flood and how to get help during and after a flood is available on the Gov.uk website.
Flash floods – what to do
Flash floods happen when an exceptional amount of rain falls in a very short time – and, though still rare, climate change and an increase in thunderstorms means they are becoming more commonplace.
- Flash floods are extremely destructive so being prepared could save lives. Be aware and know the signs:
- Heavy rain or severe weather reports.
- Rising water levels with dark, churning water.
- A build up of debris in rivers and streams which could block the flow of water.
Do not walk or drive through flood water
- In a flash flood most injuries - and even deaths - happen when people try to cross flood water on foot or in a vehicle.
- It only takes 15cm of fast flowing water to knock an adult over and only 60cms of water to lift and sweep away a 4 x 4 or small lorry.
- There may also be hidden dangers in the water like rubble and exposed drains.
- Plan where to go if you get caught in a flash flood
- If you are in a building with at least two storeys and believe you are safe to stay where you are then you should move to a higher floor and wait for instructions from the emergency services.
- If you are in vulnerable accommodation like a bungalow or basement without access to higher floors, or if you are outside, you should seek shelter in the nearest two-storey building or find higher ground.
- Call 999 if you are trapped.
Floodline Warnings Direct service can offer you further advice about how to prepare for flooding. Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit the website.
While we will always try to help vulnerable residents, our advice to anyone concerned that their home is at risk of flooding is to buy sandbags from a hardware store. You can also use pillow cases, refuse sacks and carrier bags. Sand can be purchased from DIY stores, but please note that garden soil can be used.
Fill the bag with garden soil and then stamp down so there are no gaps, and it will do the same job. The important thing is that they get heavy really quickly, so don't overfill them. Then just tuck the open end under the bag. In anything other than a severe flood, a height of two sandbags is usually enough, overlapping like bricks in a wall, with a plastic sheet or bin bag laid on the ground underneath.