Preparing for flood

By being better informed and prepared for flooding you may be able to reduce the damage it can cause and help you to recover from the effects more quickly. Do not wait until it is too late, act now:

  1. The causes of flooding
  2. Identify if your property is considered at risk of flooding
  3. Sign up for flood warnings
  4. Start to plan ahead
  5. Identify steps you can take to protect your property

Flooding of properties may occur if one or more of the following events happen:

  • Rainfall fills rivers, streams and ditches beyond their flow capacity.
  • Floodwater overflows river banks and flood defences onto flood plains
  • Coastal storms can lead to the sea breaking through, or coming over the top of coastal flood defences
  • Blocked or overloaded drainage ditches, drains and sewers overflow across roads, gardens and into properties
  • Overloaded sewers can sometimes back flow into properties
  • Rain can be so heavy that run-off cascades down hills and slopes
  • Rain soaks into the ground, causing ground water levels to rise and flood

It is not possible to eliminate the risk of flooding altogether, but many practical steps can be taken to reduce the cost of flood damage repairs and speed up recovery times.

Use the Environment Agency Flood Map to find the likelihood of flooding in your area (enter your postcode for the area concerned). You can also check current flood warnings in force from here and find more details on how flooding could affect your home insurance.

The Environment Agency monitor rainfall, river levels and sea conditions 24 hours a day and use this information to forecast the possibility of flooding. If flooding is forecast, warnings are issued.

When there is a risk of flooding the Environment Agency issues warnings through the media; they are broadcast on TV weather bulletins and on radio weather and travel reports. Make sure you know which is your local radio station.

Flood warnings are also displayed on ITV Teletext regional weather pages (page 154) and on BBC Ceefax (page 419).

Visit the Flood Information Service website and enter your postcode to check for flood warnings in your area.

During a flood you may have little time to react or prepare. If you live in a flood risk area act now and plan what you would do in a flood. Do not wait until it happens.

You can start by creating a personal flood plan which will help you decide what practical actions to take before and during a flood. To find out more about flood plans and download templates visit the Environment Agency flooding pages.

The British Red Cross also provides guidance on how to plan ahead before flooding.

There are lots of things you can do to prepare your home or business premises, so that if flooding happens the damage it causes is less extensive and less costly.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency provides practical guidance on how to prepare your property for flooding and the steps you can take to reduce flood damage:

The National Flood Forum

The National Flood Forum suggests a range of options to make your property more flood resilient. A video guide to flood protection and resilience is available from the National Flood Forum as well as case studies of people who have made their homes or businesses more flood resilient.

The National Flood Forum has compiled a catalogue of flood protection products and providers known as the Blue Pages.

Know Your Flood Risk

The Know Your Flood Risk Campaign has produced its own guide to the property protection market entitled “The Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Resilience”.

Disclaimer: Please note the Cornwall Community Flood Forum and Cornwall Council do not endorse any individual product or company and take no responsibility for any issues or disputes arising as a result of their purchase or use.