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Preparing for Flooding

How to find out if you're at risk or flooding, how to prepare for a flood and what to do if there is flooding happening now.

If a flood is happening now and there is a risk to life, call 999.
Please be aware that during severe weather, the emergency services will be very busy.

On this page:

Find out if you are at risk of flooding

To find out if your property is at risk of flooding, you can check the long term flood risk on the GOV.UK website.

You can find historical flooding information and the process in West Berkshire for managing flood risk on our Flood Risk Management page.


What you can do to prevent flooding

If your property is in a flood prone area then you are strongly advised to:

  • Sign up to the free ​​​​​​​flood warning system to get early flood alerts and flood warnings
  • Prepare yourself, your family, your property (home or business) for flooding
  • Find out if there is a flood forum in your area where you can find out more about flood risk in your local area and what you can do
  • Find out if there are any flood wardens for your community who can give you more advice about the local area and what you can do
  • Find out if there is a community emergency group who can give you advice. If there is no community emergency group or flood forum in your area you may wish to start one - visit our 'Creating an Emergency Plan' page for further information.
  • Download, print and fill in this personal flood plan which includes a list of things you should do, and provides space for you to note down important contact details

Flood Forums in West Berkshire include:

You can find more information about what to do on the National Flood Forum website. This website clearly sets out who is responsible for what, including home/property owners.

The forum is a charity run by people who have experienced flooding or have first-hand experience of supporting victims of flooding. It offers advice and support to communities and individuals who have been flooded or are at risk of flooding.


Please note: the Council does not normally provide sandbags to individual properties.

Property owners should therefore consider in advance what they can do to protect their own home and have a plan to put any physical protective barriers in place in good time. When considering what defences may be appropriate, the type of flooding (river, flash or groundwater) should be taken into account since one defence may not be suitable for all flood types.

Sandbags may be used by home owners but they need to be obtained in advance, are heavy to use and need to be 'built' carefully to help reduce the water entering a property (which eventually it will). They will also hold contaminated water and are heavy to dispose of.

Protecting your property from flooding

The PCA Flood Protection Group can put you in touch with an independent consultant who can create a flood survey of your property. This survey will provide impartial recommendations on flood resistance measures to help protect your home and belongings.


Current flood warnings

The widget below shows if there are any flood warnings currently in force in Berkshire:


Report flooding

Please visit our 'Report an emergency' page to find out how to report flooding


What to do if a flood is happening now

During a flooding incident, you should focus on the safety of yourself and others and stay out of floodwater.

If there's a flood happening near you, follow the five steps below to make sure you are well prepared and safe.

If you need to be evacuated, please visit our Evacuation and Shelter page for more guidance.

Step 1:

Follow the advice provided by the flood warning including:

  • Moving vehicles out of flood risk areas
  • Putting in place any physical flood defences you have
  • Prepare your grab bag

Step 2:

If flood water is likely to enter your home, close and lock downstairs windows and doors. Keep the keys safely to hand and move upstairs.

Step 3:

Continue to listen to updates from your local radio station, the council website and social media, and any local flood wardens. You can call ​​​​​​​Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Step 4:

Stay in your property if it is safe to do so but be prepared to move out should you be asked to by the emergency services, council staff or local flood wardens. Remember to have your grab bag ready.

Step 5:

Do not drive or walk through floodwater. If it is necessary to walk through shallow water, beware of hidden holes, obstacles and other hazards.

If you come into contact with floodwater, wash any exposed skin with bottled or cool boiled water before handling food or looking after wounds. Flood water often has sewage and other materials in it which may lead to infections and illness.

Flood Risk Management

Find out about how we respond to, and protecting against, flooding.

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