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Flood Action Week

21 November, 2023

Don't get caught out - flooding can happen to you.

Recent polling suggests nearly 60% of households at risk from flooding, do not believe their homes could flood. But just because flooding hasn't happened to you in the past, it doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

In England there are around 5.5 million properties at risk of flooding. Research shows that people who haven’t taken any action to prepare for flooding are in the clear minority (36%), but this still means that as many as 1.9 million households who are at risk are yet to prepare.

With climate change already causing more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise, we all need to know what to do, should the worst happen.

The risks of not taking action

According to the Environment Agency, the average cost of flooding to a home is around £30,000. Flooding also brings a significant risk to life. The mental health impacts of flooding can last for 2 years or more after flooding has happened. Depression, anxiety and PTSD can affect up to a third of people who have been flooded.

But, crucially, taking steps to prepare for flooding, and knowing what to do in a flood can significantly reduce the damages to a home and possessions (by around 40%), reduce risk to life, and reduce the likelihood of suffering from mental health impacts in the future. 

Know how to Prepare. Act. Survive.

The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to prepare for flooding, which could help keep you and your family safe, and save you thousands of pounds in damages and disruption. The below infographic sets out the steps you can take.

Flood Action Week: Would You Know What to do in a Flood

Alan Lovell, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:  

“With a changing climate, the frequency and severity of flooding will only get worse. So far, this year has seen two devastating named storms, while the Midlands recorded its wettest ever three-day period.   

“Our work during Storm Babet protected nearly 100,000 properties and we’re investing millions into keeping communities safe, but we know that some flooding can’t always be prevented. That’s why it’s essential you know what to do in a flood.  “Knowing just one action can reduce the effects on your home and family and even save lives. Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings and, crucially, know what they need to do if flooding hits.”   

For more information and to find out if you are at risk, visit the prepare for flooding page on GOV.UK to get prepared.