Flood preparation and help after a flood
It is important to be prepared for flooding. If the worst happens and you are affected by flooding, the information and advice below can help.
Make sure you stay up to date during a flood by using the contacts listed below.
Read GOV.UK information on planning, managing and recovering from a flood.
Follow the steps below to make sure you are prepared for flooding:
Risk of flooding
Check if you are at risk of flooding using the flood map and flood forecast or call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188. If you're at risk, register online for the Environment Agency's free flood warning service (you can also ring the Floodline number to register)
Preparing for a flood
- If you run a business make a flood plan.
- Improve your property's flood protection including information for riverside property owners.
- Make sure you have insurance and get evidence of flood risk. Flood Re can help make your insurance policy more affordable if you own or live in an eligible property.
- Read the advice on being prepared from the National Flood Forum and what to pack in your 'grab bag'.
- If you need extra support during a power cut, register with the UK Power Network.
- Read the Kent Resilience Forum booklet - What should I do in an emergency (PDF).
- Read the groundwater flooding information from the Environment Agency (PDF).
If flooding happens, it is important to:
- stay up to date by tuning in to your local radio station or contacting Floodline
- report property flooding or river blockages to the Environment Agency
- report hazards such as gas leaks and electrical hazards to the right people
- read more on what to do if you have been flooded from the National Flood Forum
- read the Kent Resilience Forum booklet - What should I do in an emergency (PDF)
- look out for your neighbours - people who are older, vulnerable or living on their own might become concerned or isolated at this time.
Find out how you can purchase sandbags and how your local borough/ district council can help in an emergency.
Mobile homes and caravans
Mobile and temporary buildings can be at particular risk in high winds. Anyone who is living in or using a temporary building or caravan should consider alternatives, such as staying with friends and family or, if you are on a campsite, moving to communal brick buildings on site.
Garden furniture could be a danger to others. You should make sure everything is secure to minimise risk if high winds are forecast.
During poor weather, there are particular dangers associated with coastal areas and rivers. You should stay away from high or strong waves. Avoid walking or driving through floodwater as there may be underwater dangers.
Do not assume that power lines on the ground or hanging low are dead as they may remain live or could become live. Report low and grounded power cables to UK Power Networks and do not approach within 5m of low or grounded power cables.
If you have been affected by flooding make sure you continue to stay up to date. We will let you know when it is safe to return to your property.
Check falling river levels via Floodline and the Environment Agency.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their advice.
- If you can get in to your property, take photographs for evidence.
Electricity and gas
- Have your electricity supply checked before switching back on.
- Have your gas or oil central heating checked by a qualified person.
- For power outages or downed power lines visit UK Power Networks or call 0800 783 88 66 / 01243 50 88 66.
Health and Safety
- Heating, dehumidifiers and good ventilation can help dry out your home.
- Mould should disappear as your home dries out but if it persists, contact a specialist cleaner.
- Protect against contamination - always wear waterproof outerwear, wellingtons and gloves.
- Read the flooding health guidance and advice from the Environment Agency.
- For flooding and winter weather public health advice visit Public Health England or NHS Direct.
Help after a flood
For weather forecasts, warnings and advice, visit the Met Office website, call 0870 900 0100 or 01392 885680.
For flood alerts, warnings and advice, visit the Environment Agency website, call 0845 988 1188 or Type talk 0845 602 6340.
Useful Twitter accounts:
- Environment Agency - @EnvAgency
- Kent Highways - @kenthighways
- Kent Gritting - @GrittingKent
- Kent County Council - @kent_cc
- Met Office for South East England - @metofficeSEEng
For flooding on the highway or travel disruption, contact:
- Highways Agency for motorways, trunk roads, Dartford and Sheppey bridge crossings: or 0300 123 5000
- KCC Highways & Transportation for KCC-maintained roads and footpaths: or 03000 41 81 81 or Text relay: 18001 03000 41 81 81
- Medway Transport & Streets for Medway Council-maintained roads and footpaths: or 1634 333333 / SMS text messaging: 07739 657073
- BBC travel advice
If there is a danger to life then ring 999 - Kent Fire and Rescue.
- National Rail Enquiries website or call 08457 48 49 50
- South-Eastern Trains website or 0845 000 2222 / 01732 378 751
Visit the Traveline website or call 0871 200 2233. Alternatively, contact your local bus operator.
- Port of Dover website or call 01304 240 400
- Eurotunnel website or call 08444 63 00 00
- Eurostar website or call 08432 186 186