Protecting Yourself Against Flooding

This page contains practical advice about protecting yourself before, during and after flooding. For further comprehensive advice about flooding, visit the National Flood Forum

Before a Flood

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself against flooding, should it happen.

Click here to see the advice for preparing for a flood.

Assess the Threat - Am I in a Flood Zone?

You can check whether your property is in a potential flood zone by visiting the Government web page

If you are in a Flood Zone, register with the Environment Agency Floodline service.


  • Has flooding occurred in the past? Check with your neighbours if you haven't been in the property long.
  • Refer to local tide tables. Plan ahead for when the risk may be higher due to spring tides. The risk also increases the closer you are to a river, stream, ditch or other watercourse, click here to find out more about your local tide times or see here for information from Tide Charts.
  • Create a personal flood plan. Be prepared; act now by planning what you would do in the flood if it happens. Don't wait until the flooding occurs because when it does, it can happen fast. Use the Environment Agency flood planning tool

Protect your property

Whether you own or rent your property, there are many different measures you can take to protect it. These range from simple and temporary measures (such as placing items of high value up high on shelves) to more permanent measures involving your building (such as raising floor levels and installing pump and sump systems below the floor boards).

Even though it is impossible to make your property completely flood-proof, there are many additional steps you can take to help. For further information on flood resistance and flood resilience measures please see the related documents section of this page or follow the links below:

During a flood

Two great resources on what to do in the flood can be found on the National Flood Forum's website and the website on flooding.

In order that the council, sewerage companies, and the Environment Agency can organise their resources and prioritise efforts to reduce the effects of flooding, it is important to get a complete picture of what actually happens during flooding events. If you suffer flooding that affects your property then the council, Southern Water, and the Environment Agency will need to know what happened and the dates that it occurred. Make sure you log this information in the event a flood happens.

After a flood

Public Health England has advice on how to clear up after a flood, here.

  • Please note: Following a flood it's advisable not throw anything away until your insurance company has had a loss adjuster visit your property.

You can also contact your local council environmental health department for advice.

Remember: sandbags contaminated with hazardous substances, e.g. sewage, must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Useful links

EA Prepare for Flooding