Image of houses flooded after the Severn burst its banks near Bewdley in Worcestershire
Houses flooded after the River Severn burst its banks near Bewdley in Worcestershire © Paul Gendell
Houses flooded after the River Severn burst its banks near Bewdley in Worcestershire © Paul Gendell

Being Prepared for Flooding

Preparing for flooding will help reduce the risk to you and your family and limit the damage to your home and possessions.

Make a plan

A helpful Personal Flood Plan template is available from the Environment Agency.

The National Flood Forum publication Ready for Flooding also gives good advice on flood plans and kit.

In addition:

  • Sign up for the government Flood Warning Service for free flood alert messages
  • Make sure you have the correct insurance cover and that you are adequately covered for repairs. Are there any special provisions in your policy for listed buildings?

More things you can do:

Good and effective building and garden maintenance can help make your home more flood resistant. Keeping masonry pointing in good order and sealing any gaps around pipes that penetrate the external walls can help reduce water penetration. Dry walls are able to resist taking up water for longer than damp walls, and will therefore be quicker to dry out afterwards. Therefore:

  • Check gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to make sure they're working properly
  • Check neighbouring ditches and water courses for blockages, particularly after heavy rainfall
  • Make sure external ground levels are as low as practicable and slope away from the building
  • Remove or reduce areas of hard landscaping around a building as this restricts water absorption by the ground and increases run-off. Guidance is available from the Royal Horticultural Society on greening front gardens and using permeable paving as well as problems caused by waterlogging

Flooding inside your home can also be from an escape of water such as a burst pipe. Find out what you need to do in this sort of incident, such as:

  • Find out where to turn off the water supply to your home and check that the stop valve works
  • Learn how to turn off any water supplied from water storage tanks
  • Check that pipes and water tanks that are at risk of freezing are adequately insulated, especially in roof spaces

For more information, see our guidance below on Flooding and Historic Buildings.

Was this page helpful?