Be flood aware and prepare

Flood signFlood sign

Posted on: 25 November 2013

As we enter the winter months, make sure you are prepared for potential flooding in North Devon.

Last Christmas, flooding hit Braunton, as well as Barnstaple, Bishops Tawton, Umberleigh, South Molton, North Molton, Brayford, Combe Martin, Berrynarbor and Croyde. Then, over the summer, heavy rainfall led to further flash flooding, affecting other small areas in Ilfracombe and Braunton.

North Devon Council has three priorities when it comes to flooding:

  • to provide temporary accommodation
  • to offer advice on the structural safety of buildings affected by flooding
  • to issue any public health advice

Meanwhile, communities and individuals are being reminded that they also have a responsibility. If you believe your property is at risk of flooding, consider the possibility of installing flood protection measures, such as flood guards on doors and airbricks, and stockpile your own supply of sandbags and sand.

Other things you can do to be flood aware and prepared:

1. Sign up for free flood warnings – Get free automated flood warnings by telephone, mobile, email, text message or fax. Go to Floodline Warnings Direct on the Environment Agency’s website or phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

2. Prepare a flood plan – This will help you decide what practical actions to take should a flood occur. This could be a personal flood plan for your property or a community flood plan to help groups plan how to work together. Visit the Environment Agency’s website to download a flood plan template.

3. Prepare a flood kit – Create a kit of essential items and keep it to hand. This could include:

  • important documents, such as passport and insurance certificates
  • a torch in case your power is affected
  • a wind-up or battery radio to help you monitor news and weather reports
  • spare batteries to power your torch or radio
  • blankets or warm clothing
  • a fully charged mobile phone, so you can contact people in an emergency
  • first aid kit and any prescription medication you need
  • bottled water in case your tap water is contaminated by flood water
  • tinned food – you don’t know how long the flood will last, so have non-perishable food available
  • personal items – some items are irreplaceable, such as photos, so put them in your flood kit to keep them safe
  • waterproof clothing, including wellies and rubber gloves

Who to contact in an emergency

Remember, if there is a flooding emergency, where life or property is at risk, you must call 999.

The emergency floodline for the Environment Agency is 0845 988 1188.

For temporary accommodation or environmental health assistance, call North Devon Council on 01271 388870.

To report flooded roads, drains and manhole covers, call the Highways Department on 0845 155 1004.


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Posted in: Environment