Flood Preparedness

There are several things residents and businesses can do to ensure they are prepared for flooding.

You may wish to consider purchasing sand bags to increase the flood resilience of your property. You can do so from a local builder’s merchants or DIY store. The Council does not provide sandbags and it is the resident’s responsibility to protect their property as far as possible.

Sandbags are a short term and relatively cheap way to manage flooding, but only if they are filled and placed properly. However, they are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-designed flood protection products and are of no use if a property is flooded. You can download the Environment Agency’s guidance document sandbags and how to use them properly for flood protection for further information.

The Environment Agency offers a wealth of resources and gives the following advice:

Find if you’re at risk

To plan for a flood, check your risk from:

You can get the flooding history of the land around a property. This is a free service unless it’s for a business or takes more than 18 hours to complete.

Email: [email protected]

You must include:

  • the property’s address
  • a map showing the property’s location
  • your address and phone number

Order a Land Registry flood risk report for a property in England or Wales.

Make a flood plan

You should make a written plan of how you’ll respond to a flood if you run a business in an area at risk of flooding. It should include how you’ll:

  • protect staff
  • deal with hazardous equipment
  • reduce the risk from polluting materials

Read guidance on how to prepare your business for flooding.

Read guidance on how to make a flood plan if you’re responsible for making a flood plan for a school, hospital, care home or other community group. You can also use a flood plan template.

You can make a flood plan if your home is at risk of flooding and find out how to use sandbags.

You can also make a flood plan online.

If you have a disability or need extra help

Contact Floodline to ask for a friend or relative to get flood warnings on your behalf.


Telephone: 0345 988 1188
24-hour service 
Find out about call charges

Improve your property's flood protection

Ask a building surveyor, architect or other independent professional for advice on permanent flood protection measures.

Use the flood protection advisor to find out how much it could cost to protect your home.

Contact the Environment Agency if your plans will affect the flow of a river or will divert flood water to other properties.

Environment Agency

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

Environment Agency
National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
S60 1BY

Read guidance on how to protect your home or small business from a flood.

Read advice from English Heritage if you live in a historic building.

If you own a riverside property

If you own property next to a watercourse, eg river, culvert, brook or mill stream, you must:

  • manage your own flood risk
  • maintain river beds and banks
  • not obstruct the water flow

Read guidance on the rights and responsibilities of owning a riverside property.

Contact the Environment Agency if you have questions about your responsibilities.

Find flood protection products and suppliers

Contact the Flood Protection Association for suppliers or search the National Flood Forum directory.

Look for the Kitemark when buying flood protection products.

Get insurance

Contact the National Flood Forum for advice on how to get insurance and reduce your premium or excess.

Contact the British Insurance Brokers’ Association to find a broker that specialises in properties that are difficult to insure.

Read guidance on getting insurance in high flood risk areas if you can’t get insurance.

Get evidence of flood risk

An insurance company may ask you for an Insurance Related Request Letter if your property is at risk of flooding. The insurer will use the letter to decide if they’ll insure you and how much it will cost.

Contact the Environment Agency to get the letter.

The letter states:

  • if your property is in a flood risk area
  • how likely the area is to flood
  • the protection given by local flood defences
  • if there are any planned flood defences

You’ll get the letter within 20 working days. It’s free for individuals and £60 for businesses.

If you’ve done flood protection work on your property, you or a surveyor can complete a Flood Risk Report to tell insurers or buyers how the work affects the flood risk.

Page last updated: 09/04/2019