If your property is likely to flood you should move important items to safety and put flood protection equipment in place to protect both your property and your belongings.
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your property and belongings if you receive a flood warning or believe your property is likely to flood:
Take items upstairs or to a high point in your property
- Safely store important documents such as insurance papers.
- Move items of personal value such as photos, family videos or treasured mementos.
- Move lightweight household belongings you can pick up easily and quickly.
- Move or raise items of furniture that are expensive or harder to repair before cheaper ones.
- Consider whether valuable belongings can permanently be positioned upstairs or in a raised position to save you having to move them in future
If possible, move your outside belongings to higher ground
- If the flood water hasn't reached you, move your car to higher ground and move outdoor pets to safety.
Help stop water entering your home
- Put plugs in sinks and baths and weigh them down with a sandbag, a pillowcase or plastic bag filled with garden soil, or a heavy object. This will stop water / sewerage backing up through blocked or overloaded systems into your sinks and toilets.
- Consider using sandbags to help prevent water from entering your property. Your local authority or local builders’ merchant may be able to supply these.
- There are also a number of affordable flood products you can purchase that can help prevent water entering your home through doors, air bricks, windows, cat flaps etc. See below for more information.
If you do not have non-return valves fitted
- Plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloths.
- Disconnect any equipment that uses water (like washing machines and dishwashers).
- Turn your water, gas and electricity supply off at the mains.
Flood protection products and other ways to protect your property
One of the best ways you can protect your home or business from the devastating impacts of flooding is to buy and install flood products in advance.
Do you need help or support to undertake these flood actions?
Some people may need help or support to prepare for flooding. As part of your flood planning we recommend you think about who you can ask for assistance before, during and after a flood.
You could also consider contacting your local authority, as many of them keep lists of vulnerable people who might need extra support in a flood or emergency situation.
If the Floodline Warnings Direct service is available in your area, we can arrange for any flood warnings for your property to also be delivered to a relative or friend, so that they are aware you may be in need of assistance. You can set this up by phoning Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
This leaflet is also available in three audio guides:
Please note these files are very large and will take time to download.