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Preparing for a flood

Important information

Call 999 or 112 if you or anyone else is in immediate danger.

Northamptonshire Police can be contacted for non-emergencies on 101.

For information about flooding contact the Environment Agency Floodline (24 hours) on 0345 988 1188.

Flooding can happen at any time and sometimes with little warning. Therefore, preparation is key to making sure you, your family and your friends are safe, as well as reducing the damage to your home and treasured belongings.

Prepare a plan

Households who are aware that they are in an area at risk of flooding should have a Household Flood Plan to set out the best emergency actions. A Household Flood and Emergency Plan template can be downloaded below.

Community emergency planning

Discuss with your parish council (or other representative) creating a Community Emergency and Flood Plan.

By involving community members and groups in preparing the plan, everyone will be clear on how they will work together to respond quickly when flooding happens.

Prepare a Home Emergency kit

Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after an emergency, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off. 

This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last at least three days.

Recommended items for the kit include:

  • water, for drinking and sanitation - 4 litres of water per person per day
  • food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • radio and extra batteries/wind up radio
  • torch and extra batteries/wind up torch
  • first aid kit
  • whistle to signal for help
  • wet wipes, bin bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • can opener for food
  • mobile phones with chargers
  • Grab Bag

Grab bag

This should be a small bag, containing a first aid kit, torch, contact details for your insurance companies, and other items that may be useful in an emergency. Store it in a safe and secure place where family members can find it and ‘grab’ it easily.

A grab bag should include the following:

  • prescription medicines details – for the family
  • toiletries
  • identity documents (passport, driving licence)
  • First Aid Kit
  • radio (battery or wind up)
  • torch (battery or wind up)
  • spare batteries
  • notebook, pen/pencil
  • spare glasses/contact lenses
  • mobile phone charger and other chargers as necessary
  • Emergency Plan with contact list
  • insurance details
  • spare keys for house/car
  • special items for babies/children
  • items for your pets
  • important computer information backed up onto a USB

Community Risk Register

The Community Risk Register outlines all types of local risks in your area. If you want to learn more about all your local risks, visit the Community Risk Register

How to prepare for flooding

If you live or work in an area at risk of flooding, sign up to the free Flood Warning Service.

You can download and complete a personal flood plan.

Invest in property level flood protection (such as barriers for doors, windows and air bricks) and deploy these as soon as a warning is received. 

See more flood advice for homeowners.

If flooding is likely

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the flood emergency, the first important decision might be whether you evacuate or stay where you are. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use all available information to determine if there is any immediate danger.

In any emergency, we may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. Other sources of information include:

  • listening to the local radio and watching TV
  • checking the Internet frequently, especially social media (if used)

Evacuating your home

You may be advised to evacuate your home. Reception Centres will be provided in a local school, leisure centre or other suitable community building where you will be safe, sheltered and looked after by trained volunteers. If you choose to make your own arrangements, such as staying with friends, please let someone know that you are safe.

Further information and useful links

Last updated 08 March 2024