What to do in a flood
Advice and guidance for protecting yourself and your home in heavy rain and flooding.
Stay up to date with the latest situation
Forecasting floods depends on the type and nature of the events which trigger them. Short periods of intense rainfall can cause flash flooding, longer periods of widespread heavy rain can cause rivers to overflow and storm surges can cause coastal flooding.
The Met Office works closely with the Environment Agency (EA) in England, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Natural Resources Wales in Wales to forecast areas where floods are likely. In Northern Ireland the Met Office works closely with partners to raise awareness of weather events which may result in flooding impacts on people and property.
The Environment Agency, SEPA and local authorities share responsibility for providing advice and information to the public during flood emergencies and can be contacted 24 hours a day via a dedicated Floodline number.
Floodline: 0345 988 1188
Northern Ireland flooding incident line: 0300 2000 100
Make sure you know what to do
Before the flood
- Find out if you are at risk of flooding on the Environment Agency's website.
- Find out if you can receive a flood warning by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit www.gov.uk/flood.
- Create a personal flood plan. Download an easy template from www.gov.uk/prepare-for-flooding/future-flooding or phone Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
- Prepare a flood kit of essential items such as your insurance documents, a torch, a wind-up or battery radio, warm clothing and blankets, a first aid kit and any prescription medicine, and bottled water and non-perishable foods.
During the flood
- Flood water is dangerous - six inches of fast-flowing water can knock over an adult and two feet of water can move a car.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
- Stay safe and listen to the advice of the emergency services and evacuate if told to do so.
- Gather essential items together either upstairs or in a high place.
- Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water.
- Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your home and if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
- Keep listening to local television and radio for updates or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
After the flood
- Find out from the emergency services if it is safe to re-enter your property.
- Take care when re-entering your property as there may be hidden dangers caused by flooding such as structural damage and contamination.
- Ring your buildings and contents insurance companies.
- Take photos of the damage to your property.