Flooding and drainage

Information and guidance on reporting and managing floods.

Advice during a flooding


  • keep together and safe with your family and those around you. Consider any vulnerable or elderly neighbours and make sure they are aware of the situation
  • have an emergency 'grab bag' prepared
  • take all warnings seriously, stay alert, and monitor the ongoing situation
  • switch off all electrical and gas appliances at the mains - make sure you know how to do this quickly
  • Block downstairs toilets and drains to prevent back flow of sewage - use a sandbag or a strong bin bag filled with soil.
  • move important items to a high and safe place within the home
  • drive carefully - visit the AA website (external link) for advice on driving in in heavy rain, floods and standing water
  • Try to detail how the flood happened. Flood water can rise and recede very quickly so a timeline of events, and photos of the flooding, this can help insurers to understand and validate any claim.


  • don’t enter flood water. Only six inches of fast flowing water can knock a person over and there may be unseen hazards – uncovered manholes, sharp edges and unstable surfaces may be hidden beneath the surface.
  • don’t drive through flood water. Less than two feet of water can be enough to float a car and beneath the water may be hidden hazards such as sudden drops, debris and fallen power lines.
  • don’t come into contact with flood water – it is often contaminated with sewage and other substances. Wear rubber gloves and boots, and wash thoroughly if you do accidentally come into contact with flood water.
  • don’t ever attempt to swim through flood water. You may be swept away and being a strong swimmer will not protect you from being struck by flowing debris.
  • don’t re-enter a flooded area until you are advised it is safe to do so.
  • don’t enter a property that has been flooded unless you are sure it is structurally safe – if in doubt it should be checked professionally.
  • don’t turn on your electricity or gas supplies until they have been checked by a qualified electrician/engineer. Be aware of gas leaks – do not smoke or use open flames.