Flooding advice. Before, during and after

During a flood: take action and be safe

Use GOV.UK's guidance on getting help during a flood. This includes contact numbers for Floodline and the National Grid. If there is a risk to life, a serious risk to property or the environment call 999. 

During a flood you should:
  • keep up to date about the weather and risks to your home using radio, TV, web or social media
  • keep outside drains clear to let surface water escape
  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies before flood water enters your home (if it's safe to do so)
  • put plugs in sinks and baths and weigh them down to stop water overflowing into your home
  • wash your hands after handling sandbags as they may be contaminated by the flood water
  • look after your neighbours - even in the summer, people can suffer from hypothermia after their homes have become flooded with cold rainwater
  • be careful if you have a private water supply - flooding can affect its quality and damage equipment, boil it before drinking or using it for food preparation
  • if your home has been flooded, move your family and pets upstairs, or to a high place with a means of escape, take your emergency grab bag with you
  • if you're using a petrol or diesel water pump, put the generator outside, keep your doors and windows closed, use a carbon monoxide detector in your home - generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill
During a flood you should not:
  • touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water
  • enter your home at all if there is raw sewage in it - stay somewhere else until it has been cleaned
  • smoke, eat or drink whilst in contact with flood water (always wash your hands in clean water before doing so)
  • let your children play in flood water, it can become contaminated with sewage and chemicals
  • use towpaths
  • walk through flooded areas - even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet, there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels - these can cause serious injuries or even death
  • travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary
  • drive through flooded roads or areas:
    • 80 per cent of flood deaths happen in vehicles as the water is deeper than it looks and moving fast
    • your vehicle may be swept away or you may become stranded, four inches of water is enough to stop a car
    • driving through flood water can spread sewage onto your car and into streets