Flooding can occur when heavy rain occurs or when rain occurs over several days. The rivers rise and can over top their banks – this may not occur instantaneously as the rivers are also affected by rain further upstream, coming down (called peaks).

Flooding also occurs when heavy rain falls on surfaces like roads and fields more quickly than the time it takes for it to drain away – this is called surface water flooding.

Here is some advice to help you prepare for and respond to flooding:

What practical steps should be followed to prepare for this risk occurring:

  • If you are at risk from flooding from rivers, you can sign up to the free Floodline service to receive flood warnings by telephone, text or email. Check if you are at risk and register with Floodline online or by calling 0345 988 1188

  • You can see what rivers have flood alerts or flood warnings on them here.

  • Protect your property. Water can enter a house through air bricks and drains as well as through doors and windows. Products such as door seals and valves for drains can help. Prepare your flood defences and follow any advice given in flood warnings. Sandbags can help, but there are other products available on the market. Please check out the information in this helpful booklet for advice. A directory of Flood Products and services can also be found here.

  • Plan where you would go if you had to leave your home or place of work quickly. How would you get there if the roads or railways are flooded? Create your own ‘Flood Plan'.

  • Prepare a ‘grab bag' of all the essential things you would need. What would you need if you had to leave in a hurry? What would your family or your pets need? Make sure to include any medications and important papers. How to make a grab bag

  • Identify and check on any vulnerable neighbours – see if anyone needs assistance.

  • Have supplies in your home such as tinned food, long life products and non-cook food, to help you to cope for up to three days if you were unable to evacuate.

What to do during flooding:

If you need to leave your property or are asked to evacuate by the emergency services or public authorities:

  • If you are advised to leave the area for your own safety, or you decide to leave yourself, decide where you will go and how you will get there. You might go to friends or family.
  • If travelling by car, ensure you have enough fuel in your vehicle for your journey. Check the travel routes. If travelling by public transport, check what availability they may have as they may be running a reduced or changed service.
  • Collect your emergency grab bag of all the essential things you may need.
  • Remember to take any medication with you and important documentation.
  • Where possible, take your pets with you.
  • Let your neighbour(s) know what you are doing – where you are staying/going

If you choose to stay or are unable to evacuate during a flood:

  • Have supplies in your home that will enable you to cope for up to three days if you are unable to evacuate.
  • Take your valuable items upstairs if possible or place them up high in cupboards/shelves to protect them.
  • Avoid walking through flood water as much as possible – there can be hidden dangers such as debris/sharp objects.


Do not drive through floodwater. Just a few inches of water is enough to float your car and damage your engine. Most deaths caused by flooding, happen when people are trapped in their car.

A lot of properties are damaged unnecessarily when people drive through floodwater, creating large bow waves. Avoid driving through flood water.

If you experience flood water on highways please contact Warwickshire Highways

How to report a flood:

If you are in a dangerous or life threatening situation, call the emergency services on 999.

Flooding on the roads, highways, public drains and gullies – report to Warwickshire County Council Highways 01926 412515

Flooding on major trunk roads and motorways – report to Highways England 0300 123 5000.

Call the Environment Agency Floodline number on: 0345 988 1188 if you see flooding from:

  • collapsed or badly damaged river banks;
  • flooding from main rivers;
  • main rivers blocked by a vehicle or fallen tree causing risk of flooding;
  • unusual changes in river flow

Call Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444 if you see flooding from sewers and burst water mains.

What to do after a flood:

Continue to check the local news for updates.

If your property was flooded:

  • Take photographs of any damage if it is safe to do so - to provide to your insurance company

If you switched off your electricity:

  • Get your electric meter checked by the electricity transmission company
  • Get your fuse box and electrical sockets checked by an electrician
  • Drinking tap water should be fine but if it looks an unusual colour or has a strange odour or tastes strangely or if you have concerns look at the advice on the Severn Trent website or contact Severn Trent.
  • If in doubt boil water first or use bottled water.
  • Before you use gas appliances get a Gas Safe Engineer to check to ensure they are safe.
  • Be aware of the health effects caused by a flood. When cleaning up, wear appropriate clothing and protection as flood water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Advice can be found here.
  • Be mindful of how the stress and traumatic feelings of personal loss, can have an impact on your own and the mental wellbeing of others.

National Government advice on what to do after a flood.

Contact: The Customer Services team

Last updated on 22/01/2024