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Preparing For flooding Now, Before It's Too Late

Last updated  18 May 2018

In recent years there have been a number of flooding incidents across Bedfordshire caused by flash floods and smaller streams and rivers bursting their banks. In emergencies Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will assist in protecting utilities and community facilities but we cannot be everywhere at once and protect every home.

Prepare now, not when it starts raining

Flash flooding can occur almost anywhere in the county following heavy rainfall. We are asking local people to prepare themselves in case we have heavy rain or snow this winter. Taking a few simple steps now can prevent your home being flooded and help protect your family.

 BFRS flood boat outside Fox and House, Riseley March 2016

Sign up for flood warnings

This is very simple and you can choose how you receive warnings - on your phone, by email or by text message. All you need to do is visit the Environment Agency’s website and provide the address you want alerts for, a phone number you can be contacted on day or night and an email address.

Check the risk to your property

Visit the Environment Agency website to check the flood risk where you live. If you live in an area that has already been flooded you should consider buying flood protection equipment for your home.

Have adequate and appropriate insurance

Check that you have new for old cover and that your items are correctly valued.

Purchase flood protection

Bedfordshire do not normally supply sandbags to householders whose properties are being flooded or are in danger of being flooded. Government advice is that householders should make their own preparations for protecting their property from flooding and there is now a considerable range of modern flood protection products available to purchase. The National Flood Forum's Blue Pages Directory gives details of many such products.

This is a directory of flood products and services put together to advise and inform you of what’s available to help reduce the risk of flooding to your home or business. In the directory you will be able to search different categories of flood products and services. At the top of each category page you will find a short description of what the product or service should do. Where applicable, the relevant standards or criteria that should be met is also detailed.

Whether you choose to purchase traditional sandbags, or the more modern self-inflating/sandless type of flood bags, advice on how to use them properly for flood protection can be found on the Environment Agency's website. Householders should also put together an Emergency Kit. Finally prepare you’re a home emergency plan which should include the locations of your water, gas and electricity in case you need to turn these off.

If there’s a flood warning

Move valuable items and documents upstairs. If your property is in imminent danger of being flooded deploy your flood defenses or make temporary sandbags by filling compost bags or similar bags to divert the water from the entrance points into your home. You can also use plastic carrier bags filled with driveway gravel or plastic sheeting weighed down with bricks.

The local radio stations will be giving up to date information and weather updates. Avoid contact with flood water if at all possible and if you do, wash your hands regularly. You should stay in your homes unless told by the Emergency Services to leave, if we tell you to evacuate then do so. If your family will be in separate locations during the day, at work or at school, think of a common location you can meet up if you need to leave you home.

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