Being prepared for floods

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How to determine if your home is in a flood risk area.

This information can help you determine if you live in an area that may be prone to flooding, while providing you with guidance on how to keep yourself, your home and your valuables safe.

To find out if you are at risk of flooding, you can contact the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit the Environment Agency’s website to check if there are any flood warnings in place near your home

If your home is at risk, you can sign up to receive free 24 hour Floodline warnings by phone, text or email direct from the Environment Agency by registering here:

Being prepared in the event of flooding

Preparing in advance will help you keep calm during a stressful situation. Having something written down will help you stay focussed on what you (and your family) need to do to keep safe.

  1. Ensure that your contents are insured.
  2. Make a list of useful contact telephone numbers, websites and email addresses (Remember to include your insurance company and Jigsaw Homes).
  3. Make copies of important personal documents and keep these, and the original documents, in a sealed bag in a safe place.
  4. Make a list of things to do and essential items to take with you should flooding occur and you need to leave your home.
  5. Keep any flood prevention products (bungs, vent covers, flood gates, etc) and sandbags where they are readily accessible.
  6. Prepare a flood kit including a torch, waterproofs, bottled water and portable radio.
  7. Make arrangements to stay with family or friends or at an evacuation centre (directed by emergency services) if you need to evacuate your home.
Flood Warning Levels

The Environment Agency issue three levels of flood warnings. It’s important to understand what they mean and what you need to do to ensure you remain safe.

Level 1 – Flood Alert

What it means – Flooding is possible, be prepared.

When it’s used – Two hours to two days in advance of flooding.

What to do:

  • Listen out for further flood information on the radio, television and social media. Prepare to leave your home.
  • Pack essential items you will need if evacuated (medication, clothing, toiletries, blanket and items for children).
  • Put your mobile phone on charge.
  • Move pets, valuables and other items to safety (upstairs if possible).
  • Alert your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable people.
  • Put any flood protection products or equipment in place – but make sure your home is ventilated.
  • If you can, move any vehicles to higher levels.
  • Install any flood prevention products (bungs, vent covers, flood gates, etc).
  • Put plugs into any downstairs sinks and baths and cover these with a sandbag.
  • Put sandbags in any downstairs toilet bowls to prevent a sewage back flow.
  • Do as much as you can in daylight. Doing anything in the dark will be a lot harder, especially if the electricity fails.

Level 2 – Flood Warning

What it means – Flooding is expected, immediate action required.

When it’s used – Half an hour to one day in advance of flooding

What to do:

  • Turn off water, gas and electricity supplies in your home.
  • Check that all flood prevention products are securely in place.
  • Leave your home, remembering to shut your windows, lock your doors and take your mobile phones and chargers with you.
  • If possible, fix a sign to your front door confirming that there are no people within the building so as to avoid emergency services forcing the door open to check for inhabitants.
  • Stay safe – don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Flood waters may be contaminated with sewage and there may be hidden dangers.
  • If the Emergency Services are on the scene, follow their instructions. You may be evacuated to a rest centre.
  • Keep calm. If you are in danger dial 999 and/or attract attention of people nearby.

Level 3 – Severe Flood Warning

What it means – Severe flooding, danger to life.

When it’s used – When flooding poses a significant risk to life.

What to do:

  • When you have left your home and are safe, contact Jigsaw Homes to inform us of your contact details and where you are.
  • Do not return to your home until you are informed that it is safe to do so by the Emergency Services.
  • Assume flood water contains sewage, and always wear water proof gloves when touching anything soiled by the flood water.
  • After flooding contact your contents insurer as a matter of urgency and continue to liaise closely with them.
  • Do not switch on gas or electricity until this has been checked and made safe by a qualified engineer. Take all your meter readings.
  • Take photographs if you can.
  • In flooded properties Jigsaw Homes, and our insurers, will assess the damage to your home and how, when and what repair work is required.
  • If you are not able to return to your home and unable to stay with family or friends, your local authority, contents insurers or Jigsaw Homes may be able to support with temporary rehousing.
  • Follow the advice provided by your contents insurer concerning disposal of food, contaminated or damaged items.
  • Keep Jigsaw Homes informed of your contact details change so that we can keep you updated on any repair work.
Further information

Further information on preparing for floods and flooding is available on the Environment Agency’s website at

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