Cornwall Council has in place an Emergency Management Plan and will respond to flooding events.

Although we do not have a statutory duty to provide sandbags, experience shows that the community expects the Council to help during times of imminent flooding. It is important that we handle enquiries sympathetically but in accordance with the following principles: 

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  • We will encourage property owners in known flood areas to adopt a “self help” approach and prepare in advance and respond to forecasts or flood watches. 
  • We will encourage people making enquiries for sandbags at these stages to contact local suppliers such as builder’s merchants where they can purchase them or possibly have them delivered.
  • The above approach will help to preserve our stocks of sandbags for emergency response. The Environment Agency promotes self-help schemes and we will refer people to the Environment Agency website
  • The environment agency website also gives useful guidance on the proper use and placement of sandbags to maximise protection.
  • We will supply sandbags free of charge on a “needs” basis in response to flooding emergencies. We will not generally supply sandbags in advance based on forecasts. Requests for support will be considered and prioritised on a case-by-case basis. For out of hours events, the decision will be made by the appropriate duty officer.

Please be aware:

  • We have limited supplies of sandbags to supply on a “needs” basis and these can disappear quite quickly if we supply too soon;
  • We try and time it right but flooding is notoriously difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy;
  • Once provided either through direct purchase arrangement or issued during an emergency, the disposal of used sandbags becomes the responsibility of the homeowner. Care should be taken to avoid blocking drains etc. and gloves should be worn in case of contact with contaminated water.
  • The Environment Agency website.