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  4. How to prepare for flooding

How to prepare for flooding

As a resident there is lots you can do to prepare for flooding and ensure it has as little effect on you, your community and property as possible. We would recommend that if your home is at risk of flooding, or has flooded in the past, that you make preparations to protect your home should flooding take place. Below we have listed a number of ways you can prepare. 

Check if your area is at risk of flooding

The government has produced a look up tool you can use to check the risk of flooding to your local area. You can find the tool here: https://www.gov.uk/check-long-term-flood-risk

You can also request information on the flooding history of your property by following the guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/request-flooding-history 

If you are new to the area we would recommend asking local people about flooding that has taken place before so you are aware of where there may be risks.

Sign up to flood alerts

You can sign up to the national flood warning system which will send you alerts if flooding is predicted in your local area. This will give you a warning so you can prepare if your home or business is at risk.

You can sign up for the alerts here: https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings 

Get home insurance

Make sure you have the correct home insurance cover in case your property floods. The cost of recovery after a flood is on average £20,000. The Flood Re website has been set up to help those households who live in a flood risk area find affordable home insurance.

Create a personal flood plan

The personal flood plan includes a list of things you should do (like moving sentimental items to safety), and provides space for you to note down important contact details such as your utility companies and insurance. The Environment Agency has created a personal flood plan template you can use.

You can also take a look at the Oxfordshire Flood Toolkit and find out about the small things you could do now to make you more flood resilient, or to report an incident if the worst happens.

The Environment Agency also produce this document containing advice on how to manage flooding:

Flood protection products

There are many different types of equipment you can purchase which will offer different levels of protection to your home in the event of a flood. The National Flood Forum has produced an independent directory of flood protection products and services called the Blue Pages.

West Oxfordshire District Council do provide a limited supply of sandbags free of charge in the event of a flooding emergency but we do recommend you prepare your own defences so you can react quicker and more effectively. You can find out where you get the Council sandbags here

Keep your drains and grids clear 

Removing leaves and debris that are covering the top of your grids will help prevent blockages which could cause localised flooding in heavy rainfall.

If you own property next to a water course 

for example a river, culvert, brook or mill stream, it's your responsibility to keep the bed and banks clear of anything that could cause an obstruction and increase flood risk. Find about your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership or contact the Environment Agency if you have any queries about your responsibilities.