Protecting Yourself Against Flooding

Quick links:

  1. Before a flood

  2. During a flood

  3. After a flood

For comprehensive advice on flooding, see the National Flood Forum's document "Ready-For-Flooding" available here.

1. Before a flood

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself against flooding, should it happen.

To see the advice for preparing for a flood, click here.

Assess the Threat - Am I in a Flood Zone?

Check whether your property is in a Flood Zone using the links below:

If you are in a Flood Zone, register with the Environment Agency 'Floodline' telephone service to receive automated flood warning messages. Call 0345 988 1188 or Typetalk 0345 602 6340.

You can also register online using the Environment Agency’s website using the related links section on the left hand side of this page.

  • Think: Has flooding occurred in the past? Check with your neighbours if you haven't been in the property long or contact us to find out. 
  • Refer to local tide tables. Plan ahead for when the risk may be higher due to spring tides. The risk also increases the closer you are to a river, stream, ditch, or other watercourse. To find out more about your local tide times, please click here. 
  • Create a personal flood plan. Be prepared; act now by planning what you would do in the flood if it happens. Don't wait until the flooding occurs because when it does, it can happen fast. Use the Environment Agency's personal flood plan tool to make your own, here.

Protect your property

Whether you own or rent your property, there are many different measures you can take to protect it. These measures range from simple and temporary measures (such as placing items of high value up high on shelves and fixing entertainment units to walls) to more permanent measures involving your building (such as raising floor levels and installing pump and sump systems below the floor boards).

The table below outlines some of the key measures that can be undertaken to help protect your property.

Resistance - measures to stop water entering property

Flood boards/shutters

Vent blocks


One-way valves

Resilience - measures to limit damage in a flood

Hard floors

Heightened electrical points

Waterproof coatings

Even though it is impossible to make your property completely flood-proof, there are many additional steps you can take to help. For further information on flood resistance and flood resilience measures please see the related documents section of this page or follow the links below:

Flood Insurance

There are a number of organisations providing support and advice for those trying to insure higher risk properties. Please visit our page on Flood Insurance for further information.

2. During a flood

Two great resources on what to do in the flood can be found on the National Flood Forum's website and the website on flooding.

The Environment Agency have also produced a useful document on how you can get sandbags and how to use them to protect your property here.

In order that the council, sewerage companies, and the Environment Agency can organise their resources and prioritise efforts to reduce the effects of flooding, it is important to get a complete picture of what actually happens during flooding events. If you suffer flooding that affects your property then the council, Southern Water, and the Environment Agency will need to know what happened and the dates that it occured. Make sure you log this information in the event a flood happens.

3. After a flood

Public Health England has advice on how to clear up after a flood, here.

You can also contact your local council environmental health department for advice.

Remember: sandbags contaminated with hazardous substances, e.g. sewage, must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

For more information on claiming on your insurance, click here.

For comprehensive advice on flooding see the National Flood Forum's document "Ready-For-Flooding" available here


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