What to do in five easy steps
If there is a flood happening near you right now, follow the five steps below to make sure you are well prepared and safe.
If you have a flooding emergency contact 999.
For other useful contact details see our contacts page.
To report flooding or other hazards, click to use our easy-to-use reporting function.
If there’s a flood happening near you, follow the five steps below to make sure you are well prepared and safe.
Tick off each step before doing the next.
Before floodwater enters your home, close and lock downstairs windows and doors. Keep the keys safely nearby and move upstairs.
- keep children, vulnerable people and pets well away from flood waters;
- move furniture, portable electrical items and valuables out of harm's way if possible;
- put plugs in downstairs sinks and baths and weigh them down;
Continue to listen to situation updates from your local radio station and via Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
Stay in your property if safe to do so, or until the emergency services tell you otherwise or the floodwater has gone. Click for more information about what to do if you remain in your property.
- walk or drive through flood water as open manholes, obstacles or other dangers may be hidden; driving through floodwater should be avoided if at all possible. Click here to read about driving through floodwater and the serious dangers it presents.
- use a candle to guide you when entering a flooded building;
- start to clean up or carry out repairs until you are sure it is safe to do so.
- boil water before using it for drinking and food preparation. For further guidance see the Food Standards Agency's food safety advice.
- turn off gas and electricity. For further guidance see Electrical Safety First and Gas Safe.
If you come into contact with floodwater, wash any exposed body parts with bottled water or boiled water that has cooled right down before handling food or looking after wounds. Click here for more information about floodwater and hygiene.
If you need to be evacuated…
Stay calm and don’t panic. The emergency services and other officials will try to visit all properties at risk, or they will use a loud hailer to tell you if an evacuation needs to take place.
You will hear about your evacuation point and the location of the reception centre either verbally or in a leaflet.
Try to check that any elderly or vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation if it is safe to do so.
Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave your property. Remember to take your emergency flood bag.