Before floods

  • Register for local flood warnings. You can get updates from local radio and TV news. The government also provides a 5 day flood risk forecast.
  • Prepare an emergency kit.
  • Get insurance. Find lower-cost home insurance through Flood Re if you’re in a flood-risk area & get insurance advice from the National Flood Forum
  • When a flood strikes, sandbags and sand from builders’ merchants will be in high demand. They can be used as a barrier to divert water and prevent or reduce floodwater damage. Buy sand and sandbags in advance.
  • Take photographs inside your home. This may help with insurance claims.

If you’re about to be flooded

  • If there’s a risk of flooding, let your neighbours know. Also tell older and vulnerable people who live nearby.
  • Move vehicles to higher ground so they won’t be caught in rising floodwater.
  • Turn off the mains power before you leave. You can be electrocuted in floodwater if the power remains switched on.
  • Put sandbags in toilet bowls to prevent sewage backflow.
  • Shut and lock all windows and doors. This will protect your property, and may reduce the volume of floodwater entering the building.
  • Take all pets with you when you leave so they aren’t trapped by rising water.

During floods

  • Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over. Two feet of water can float a car.
  • Don’t walk on riverbanks or canal banks.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage. If you’re exposed, wash your hands and clothes thoroughly in clean water.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near floodwater.
  • Need to leave your home and have nowhere to stay? Your local council will help. Initially, you may be housed in an emergency shelter. But if you cannot return home for a long period, your council can help you find something more suitable.

After floods

  • Dispose of any contaminated items that may have been in floodwater.
  • Boil tap water or use bottled water until supplies are declared safe.
  • Flooding is a stressful experience. If you need support, call NHS 111 by dialling 111. They’ll tell you about crisis support services.
  • Take photographs of your home for help with insurance claims.
  • Dispose of sandbags at your local tip.
Firefighters wading through flood water.

During flooding WYFRS:

  • We have plans in place to ensure a response to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergency types during flooding.
  • Prioritise calls where lives may be at risk through a risk of fire or other emergencies. Where lives are not at immediate risk, our partner organisations may be better placed to help.
  • Will rescue people who are at risk and assist with evacuations of buildings.
  • Will work with the Local Resilience Forum, community safety partnerships and partner organisations to protect important sites such as hospitals and power stations.
  • Will work with other organisations such as blue light partners and utility companies to ensure public safety.

After flooding and during recovery WYFRS:

  • We can pump out water from buildings although this may not always be appropriate. If your property is surrounded by water, or the water table is high, the water will return. 
  • We will give advice about making properties safe and secure
  • Can temporarily make structures safe where life is at risk

In a non-emergency situation, the use of WYFRS pumping equipment may incur a charge as a Special Service Call. A breakdown of these charges can be found here.