Preparing a flood plan

What is a flood plan?

Flooding can happen very quickly, giving you little time to act. Preparing a flood plan is the best way to protect yourself, your family/colleagues/community and your property/belongings from the risk of flooding, or from the effects of flooding if the worst should happen.  

If you live in an area that could be flooded (one in six households are at risk), you should write a plan outlining what you will do. Keep it somewhere safe but easy to find and put one in your emergency flood pack. Also make sure everyone in your household/business/community group is familiar with your flood plan. Remember: many properties are at risk of flash flooding even if they are located well above flood plains and away from rivers.

When preparing a flood plan you should include useful contacts, a trigger for action, steps to take and a list of essential items to have to hand when it floods. Be sure to keep it somewhere that everyone can find it, and check it regularly to ensure that it is up to date. The Environment Agency has free flood plan templates which cover the basics.

Writing a flood plan - what to include

Useful contacts

These could include Floodline, your local council, utilities providers, your insurance company, your local flood group and the media. You could also make a note of those who can help you if needed or vulnerable people whom you could help if safe to do so.

Trigger for action

This will help you to know when to act on your plan. Specific warnings about river flooding within identified ‘at risk’ areas come from the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning Service called Floodline. You can sign up for free flood warnings online or by contacting Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

These warnings only cover the possibility of river flooding. If you think you might be at risk of other types of flooding, see: Sign Up For Weather Alerts.

Actions to take

Aim to reduce the risk of floodwater entering your house if possible, and to reduce damage if it does enter. For example, turn off gas and electricity, move important and valuable items to higher ground, deploy property-level protection, alert staff and request their help, and move animals and livestock to safety.

Flood kit

Prepare a flood kit or 'grab bag' of essential items to have to hand in case you should have to evacuate. For a list of items to include, view our flood kit page.

For more information, or help with preparing a flood plan from scratch, contact your local Environment Agency office at YorkshireFloodResilience@environment-agency.gov.uk.