What to do in a flood

Do you know what to do in the event of a flood? Use the government's website to make sure you are prepared.

Find out if you're at risk of flooding

The Environment Agency website has detailed, searchable maps that show the long term risk of your property and community flooding from:

Preparing for a flood

When is flooding likely?

Flooding is usually a consequence of a long period of rain or heavy downpours and can be made worse by many variables including neglected culverts, saturated ground and blocked drainage systems. It’s hard to predict when flooding will happen because of these variables.

Whilst flooding events are difficult to predict, there are services available that can help alert you to when flooding is possible and help shore up your property’s defences should flooding actually occur.

Flood warnings

You can sign up for flood warnings from the Environment Agency's Floodline. This is a free service that provides flood warnings directly to you by phone, text or email – whichever you select. It can be used by households and businesses who are at risk of flooding.

Local weather forecasts

Check local media and local weather forecasts as well as the Environment Agency's 5 day flood forecast for the latest situation and warnings in your area.

Email updates

Register to receive the Nottinghamshire County Council emailme flood bulletins. They’ll provide advice and information on how to be prepared, how we’re responding and the latest situation in Nottinghamshire.

Planning and being prepared

It is impossible to remove all danger of flooding but you can take reasonable measures to reduce the damage caused to your property and minimise the effect it will have on you and your family, these include:

Make a flood plan

The Environment Agency have advice to help you make a plan of what you need to do and think about if flooding threatens your property.

The Nottinghamshire County Council emergency planning team also provides information on how to prepare for an emergency, including flooding.

Prepare your property

If you are a homeowner, it is your responsibility to protect your property from flooding. There are a range of practical actions that you can take to reduce the impact of flooding on your property, from adapting your home to installing flood defences. 


Sandbags are a short term and relatively cheap way to manage flooding but only if they are filled and placed correctly. However, they are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-designed flood protection products. They are of no use if a property is already flooded. Instead, residents should concentrate their efforts on protecting family members and belongings.


Ensure you have home insurance in place to cover both building (unless rented) and contents.

If you have building cover, your insurer should dry, clean, repair and restore your home.

If you have contents cover, your insurer should dry, clean and restore your possessions or replace or pay for any possessions that cannot be cleaned up or repaired.

How your community can prepare

Flooding usually affects whole communities not just individual properties. If your area is at risk, work together with other people in your community so you can prepare, act together and support each other. During widespread flooding it helps emergency services if communities are able to support the response and are prepared for flooding. 

  • the county council's emergency planning team provide support to communities to help them be prepared for emergencies including guidance and templates on preparing a community emergency plan
  • the Environment Agency run a Flood Warden scheme which flood risk communities can volunteer to join
  • communities that are signed up to the Flood Warden scheme can also volunteer for the Council’s Community Flood Signage Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to close flooded roads quickly to help stop vehicles from driving through and creating bow waves which can cause property flooding.

Know your responsibilities

An ordinary watercourse is any natural or artificial channel that water flows through, such as a river, including where a river flows through a culvert, brook, beck, or mill stream.

If you own land or property along an ordinary watercourse you have responsibilities that include: maintaining the bed and banks of the watercourse and allowing the flow of water to pass without obstruction and so help prevent flooding. 

If you want to carry out work that affects the flow of water or flood risk from an ordinary watercourse you need to get permission

Can we help?

For further information and advice on how you and your community can prepare for flooding, contact our emergency planning team.

Call 01636 650000

Email customerservices@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk

Or contact the Nottinghamshire County Council emergency planning team emergency.planning@nottscc.gov.uk

  • 01636 650000

    Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm

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    Castle House
    Great North Road
    NG24 1BY

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