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Advice for homeowners

It is your responsibility for protecting your home from flooding. Where they can the council, emergency services and Environment Agency will help, however if the flooding is over a large area, they may not be able to respond to every call.

Important documents and items should be stored safely in waterproof containers at the highest point of the property such as upstairs.
These may include items like:

  • Passports
  • Financial documents
  • Insurance details
  • Photos

Make a list of important and useful telephone numbers:

  • Insurance company
  • Water
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Local council
  • Landlord

Make sure you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies, even in the dark.

All electrical appliances should be:

  • Unplugged
  • Smaller items moved upstairs or to the highest part of the property
  • Larger items raised on blocks


  • Sinks
  • Baths
  • Showers

Weighing the plug down to prevent backflow.

Move as much furniture as you can upstairs those you can’t, should be raised off the floor.


The average cost of flood damage is £30,000 so you will need to check with your insurance company that the level of your insurance policy covers flooding and add the necessary cover if needed.

  • Is my property insured against flood damage?
  • Does my cover provide me with temporary accommodation?
  • Will any necessary clean up or repairs to my property be taken care of?
  • How much compensation will I receive to cover any damages to my property and contents?

Make an emergency flood kit of items:

  • Blankets
  • Warm/waterproof clothing
  • Bottled water
  • Food
  • Torches
  • Radio with spare batteries
  • A first aid kit

Prepare food you can store and eat without cooking, store drinking water, keep warm clothing safe and keep a mobile phone fully charged.


For owners of historic and listed buildings English Heritage have produced an excellent booklet designed to assist those who live in,own or manage historic buildings that together with their historic fixtures and fittings are threatened by periodic flooding. Advice is provided on preventative measures to minimise flood damage as well as on the inspection, conservation and repair of historic buildings after flooding.

Visit the English Heritage website for more information.


This kind of flooding presents particular issues as traditional methods of flood defence may not be effective as the water can come up through the floor and remain for a long time.

The most effective way to keep groundwater out of your home is to use a drainage pump, to divert water away from your home or business, however in some cases there may be too much water and this would be ineffective.


Water removed from a structure needs to be discharged in to a location at least several feet from your home. Regardless of whether you have public sewage or a septic tank, never pump the water into the sewage system. An overload on the system could cause the sewage to back up.


Great care must be taken when pumping water onto the highway. The discharged water, pipes or operation must not create a safety issue. Pipes must be placed in a manner that they will not cause trip or obstruction hazards. Water wherever possible should be discharged into a working gulley or in a manner that allows the water to easily and quickly disperse.

During freezing conditions pumping should be undertaken in a manner that prevents ice and hazard issues. This could involve using grit bags or regular salting.

If the highway authority believes pumping is causing a safety issue it will instruct the householder to amend their operations or cease if no alternative arrangements are available.

You can find more information on groundwater flooding on the environment agency website. If you would like more information and advice on groundwater flooding contact:- Floodline on 08459 88 11 88.


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Last updated: 3 January 2017 | Last reviewed: 3 January 2017