You could be at risk from flooding even if you don't live near a river. Flooding can occur during heavy rainfall if the ground is saturated, or if the capacity of drainage systems is overwhelmed.
To help you prepare and develop your own personal flood plan, we have produced abased on the Environment Agency's national guidance. This will help you make arrangements in advance such as finding out if you're at risk, registering to receive alerts, making simple preparations and having appropriate equipment.
Make sure you have adequate insurance. Flood damage is included in most buildings insurance policies, but it is worth checking your own policy to ensure that your home and its contents are covered.
If your home is in a high risk flood area, Flood Re might be able to find affordable insurance for you. Contact your insurer, or visit www.floodre.co.uk for further information.
Protecting your property
Make long term preparations and protect your property from the risk of flooding. You can get advice from the National Flood Forum about how to protect your property and how much this will cost, or find flood protection products and services at Blue Pages.
Advice is also available from the Property Care Association's Flood Protection Group.
Download theHomeowner's Guide to Flood Resilience for information about protecting your property and download guides to help plant the right plants in your or to help prevent flooding.
You may want to consider:
- Making a list of useful phone numbers you may need, such as the emergency services and the Environment Agency's 24 hour Floodline number (0345 988 1188); and your personal contact numbers.
- Making sure you know where to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
- Talk to your neighbours about how you could work together in the event of a flood.
- Putting together a flood kit of useful items.
- Add an ICE - In Case of Emergency - to the beginning of one number on your contact list. This is the phone number the emergency services will look for if something happens to you.
- Keeping important possessions and documents in waterproof containers at the highest part of your property. Have plans in place to move such items at short notice.
What we do in a flooding incident
During flooding events, we can receive a high volume of calls from residents who are worried about their properties. We use this information to help our teams know where to go and respond, when appropriate.
In this kind of situation our resources will be at full stretch. Residents and communities should be prepared to do what they can to help themselves and their neighbours.
We will attempt to carry out the following actions where necessary:
- activate emergency plans and put resources on standby when required
- work alongside emergency services and deploy resources to the scene
- pay particular attention to areas that have flooded before and carry out any maintenance when required
- provide advice and information to the public about how to respond to potential flood risk
- if an evacuation is necessary, ensure residents are provided with temporary accommodation and transport; and assist in the welfare of known vulnerable people
- hold a stock of sandbags to primarily assist the response in managing surface water on and from the public highway and assist with the response in known 'at risk' flooding areas when appropriate. Sandbags are not provided to individual residents and businesses to use on their own properties. Find out how to make a sandbag and how to use them to prepare for a flood
- investigate flooding incidents and concerns, providing advice or passing on to the relevant authority where possible. Contact the Flood Risk Management team on 0191 433 3125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- assist the community to return to a state of normality as soon as possible.
- Gateshead Council Customer Services: 0191 433 3000 or 0191 477 0844 (24 hour Emergency Number) for flooding on roads and from public drains
- The Gateshead Housing Company HomeRepairs Hotline: 0800 406 6008 for council tenants to contact in emergencies
- Northumbrian Water: 0800 393 084 for burst water mains or 0800 328 7648 for sewers
- Environment Agency Floodline: 0345 988 1188 for river flooding
- For information on who is responsible for different types of flooding visit www.gov.uk/report-flood-cause
Call 999 if you, or anyone else, is in immediate danger
Environment Agency - for flood alerts and warnings
Traveline website - or phone 0871 200 2233
Traffic England Alerts - check traffic conditions on motorways and major A-roads before you travel
BBC News website
Floodline - phone 0345 988 1188