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

Recent polling suggests nearly two in three 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 over 5 million properties at risk of flooding. The research shows that people who haven’t taken action to prepare for flooding are in the clear minority (30%), but this still means that as many as 1.5 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.

For more information and to find out if you are at risk, visit the how to plan ahead for flooding page on GOV.UK to get prepared: How to plan ahead for flooding - Check for flooding - GOV.UK (check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk)

Caroline Douglass, Executive Director Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said:

“Now is the time for us all to be vigilant, not complacent, about flooding.

“Our previous investment programme protected 314,000 properties from flooding. Our flood defences have helped to protect nearly 200,000 properties during flooding incidents since 2019, and we’re investing millions into building new schemes and making repairs to keep communities safe.

“Yet we can’t prevent all flooding - climate change is only increasing that risk – and today’s figures show that while some people are prepared, many are not.

“It’s vitally important for the public to go online and check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and know what to do if flooding hits.”