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What to do in a flood

3. What to do if you get a flood warning

A flood warning means you need to act now: flooding is expected.

What you should do:

  • act on your flood plan if you have one
  • keep track of the weather forecast, flood warnings and water levels
  • move family and pets to safety
  • use flood protection equipment like sandbags, flood barriers and air brick covers
  • move important items upstairs or to a safe place in your property, starting with cherished items and valuables, then furniture and furnishings
  • prepare a flood kit of essential items including a torch with spare batteries, mobile phone and charger, warm clothes, home insurance documents, water, food, first aid kit and any prescription medicines or baby care items you need
  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies before flood water gets into the property
  • never touch an electrical switch if you’re standing in water
  • move vehicles to higher ground if it’s safe to do so
  • alert neighbours and offer help if it’s safe to do so
  • listen to the emergency services and be ready to evacuate; most flood centres will let you bring your pets
  • avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water – 6 inches (15cm) of fast-flowing water can sweep an adult off their feet, while 12in (30cm) can move a car
  • wash your hands if you’ve been in contact with flood water which may contain raw sewage


  • act on your business flood plan if you have one
  • move your staff and customers to a safe place
  • move stock and other valuable items upstairs or to a safe place in your building