If a flood alert or warning is issued for your area, you can take a number of precautions to protect your home or business and to minimise any damage:

Indoors

  • Put any sentimental, valuable or irreplaceable items upstairs or on high shelves or cupboards

  • Turn off gas, electricity and water at the mains

  • Unplug all electrical items and store them upstairs, or if you do not have an upstairs then place them high up on shelves or cupboards

  • Put the plugs in your sinks and then weigh them down so they cannot move, to stop the drains backing up

  • Move as much furniture as you can upstairs or raise them up on bricks or blocks

  • Move furniture away from walls - this helps when drying your property later

  • Roll up carpets and rugs and put them upstairs, or if you do not have an upstairs then place them high up on shelves or cupboards

  • Remove curtains or hang them up over the rail so they are kept above flood water

  • Disconnect any equipment that uses water (e.g. washing machines)

  • Keep important personal documents, including your home insurance documents, in a sealed bag, and in a location safe from floodwater.

Outdoors

  • Cover doors, windows and airbricks with materials such as plywood, floorboards or metal sheeting

  • Move dustbins, garden chemicals, gas cylinders, or anything else not fixed down, to a safer location

  • Move your car, motorbike, or any other vehicle to higher ground to avoid risk of damage

  • Weigh down drainage inspection chambers outside your home to prevent them floating away and leaving a hazardous hole.

Source: Environment Agency – What to do before, during and after a flood

 

Owning land or property next to a river, stream or ditch

If you own land or a property next to a river, stream or ditch you are a ‘riparian landowner’.

Find out more about 'riparian landowner' rights and responsibilities