Preparing for flooding

How to prepare in the event of a flood and why Suffolk County Council do not provide sandbags and how to keep up to date with local flood alerts or warnings.

Only dial 999 for the Fire and Rescue Service if there's a immediate risk to life.

In situations where a property is flooded or under threat of flood:

  • isolate all electrics (if it is safe to do so)
  • contact any elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives and ensure they are safe and know what to do if their properties become flooded
  • consider moving possessions upstairs if possible
  • avoid contact with flood water as much as possible to reduce risk of drowning and infection 
  • secure your property and make your way to a place of safety
  • don’t drive through flood water, and try to avoid unnecessary long journeys as local roads may also be flooded
  • listen to local radio stations for further information and guidance, or contact the National Flooding Forum for specialist advice

We don't provide sandbags

Sandbags do not provide enough protection during a flood.

Water can get into properties through many routes, not just doorways. They can also be challenging to dispose of after they are used since it is likely that they will be heavy and contaminated.

Local authorities in Suffolk won’t provide sandbags to try to protect individual properties, but instead use these limited resources in bulk to raise and repair defences or divert water away from groups of properties.

You can check your property’s flood risk by contacting floods@suffolk.gov.uk and detailing your query.

If it’s appropriate to use purpose-made flood protection products, information is published on the National Flooding Forum’s Blue Pages.

Other emergency information

We have a Joint Emergency Planning Unit which coordinates with other services to arrange temporary accommodation, and evacuation of houses due to serious flooding. It helps people and businesses to recover from a devastating event.

The Suffolk Resilience Forum contains the plans that the county has in place in the event of major flooding. 

When flooding is likely, the Environment Agency issues flood alerts and warnings for main rivers and sea flooding through TV and local radio.

You can also register to receive free floods warnings by phone, text or e-mail. You can also view flood warnings set by the Environment Agency, or get advice and information via Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

The Suffolk Flood Risk Management Partnership has created a flood guide which contains all the information and advice on what to do before, during, and after flooding.

"Know Your Flood Risk" is a campaign which aims to increase awareness and knowledge of flood risk from all sources. They have created a guide to help people who might face flooding understand why the flood happens and what they can do to reduce its effect.

If you don't think your flood is an emergency you can report it to us online.

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