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Kent Resilience Forum
Preparing for emergencies in Kent and Medway
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Flood Picture

Be prepared

One in six UK properties is at risk from flooding. Here’s how to be ready for it.


  • Assess your risk from river flooding by visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ or calling the Agency’s Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

  • If you’re at risk, register by phone or online for the Agency’s free flood warning service. Keep the Floodline number and quick dial code handy for quick updates.

  • Know the flood warning codes and what they mean - see www.environment-agency.gov.uk/.

  • Check your insurance to confirm you’re covered, and for the right amount.

  • Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water. If in doubt, consult your supplier.

  • Put stickers on taps and switches you need to turn off, so it’s easier to remember - and quicker.

  • Think about pets, cars, furniture, electrical equipment and garden furniture. Download a household flood plan template from environment-agency.gov.uk/.

  • Prepare an emergency ‘grab bag’ (see page 18) to carry basic essentials with you.

  • If you’re at risk, buy flood protection equipment in advance. See www.floodforum.org.uk.


If flooding happens

  • Tune in to your local radio station or call Floodline for updates.

  • Report property flooding or river blockages to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

  • If safe to do so, turn off gas, electricity and water mains before water enters your home.

  • Put plugs in sinks and baths and weigh them down.

  • Move your family and pets to a higher position with a means of escape. Remember to take your emergency ‘grab bag’ (see page 18).

  • Don’t touch sources of electricity when standing in water.

  • Never drive through flood water. Eighty per cent of flood deaths occur in vehicles.

  • If there’s raw sewage in your property, keep out. See if you can stay elsewhere (see page 19) until it’s been cleansed.


After a flood

  • Find out if it’s safe to return to your property by checking the media and local authority website.

  • Check falling river levels via Floodline and the Environment Agency website.

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their advice.

  • If you can get in to your property, take photographs for evidence.

  • Protect against contamination - always wear waterproof outerwear, wellingtons and gloves.

  • Have your electricity supply checked before switching back on.

  • Have your gas or oil central heating checked by a qualified person.

  • Your local council may provide help for clearing flood damaged household items and protecting against further flooding (i.e. sandbags).

For further, detailed advice on what to do before, during and after a flood, check the Environment Agency website or download the flooding advise leaflet. Flooding  - advise for the public