Information and advice on flooding

Find out about what to do before, during and after a flood and what the flood alert warning alerts mean.

This is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the UK. The highest flooding risk is surface water flooding, where drainage systems are unable to cope with the volume of rainfall.

What could happen:

  • damage to your home, personal property and infrastructure
  • disruption to utilities such as gas, electric and water supply
  • you may need to leave your home for a period of time

What the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum is doing:

  • working with local flood groups such as Tadcaster, Malton and Scarborough, and emergency services, local authorities and other agencies to develop flood response plans
  • investigating the causes of significant flooding across the country
  • talking to housing developers to incorporate flood protection in new developments
  • developing ways to alert the public as soon as possible when there is a significant flood risk

What to do if there is a flood

Before a flood you should:

During a flood you should:

  • move valuable and irreplaceable items to upper floors during a flood risk where possible
  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies before flood water enters your home - do not touch any electrical appliances or cables when standing in flood water.
  • avoid non-essential travel and do not drive, cycle or walk through flood water
  • check on vulnerable neighbours who might need your help
  • avoid contact with flood water and wash hands regularly as it could be contaminated with sewage or chemicals
  • listen to your local BBC radio station for updates
  • not return to your home until it has been properly cleaned, dried and made safe if you must evacuate
  • secure doors and windows if you need to evacuate your home and bring your grab bag
  • call 999 if there is immediate risk to life

After a flood you should: 

  1. Follow Government advice on what to do - there is information on the Government website.
  2. Be cautious of hidden dangers in flood water like sharp objects and make sure you wear protective clothing.
  3. Notify your insurance company and find out if you need to clean your home or if they will get a company to do it for you. Take photos and videos before you start cleaning and make a list of any damages. For more information on insurance visit the Association of British Insurers’ website.
  4. If you are drying your home naturally, keep all doors and windows open.
  5. Wash your hands with bottled water and boil all tap water until it is declared safe to use.

Know your flood warning alerts

Symbols for flood warning alerts

Flood alert - when flooding is possible

This is used two days in advance of flooding. 

What you should do:

  • prepare a flood kit of essential items
  • monitor flood forecasts on our website

Flood warning - flooding is expected

This is used half an hour to one day before flooding.

What you should do:

  • move family, pets and valuables to a safe place
  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so
  • put flood protection equipment in place

Severe flood warning - severe flooding and danger to life

This is used when flooding poses a significant threat to life.

What you should do:

  • stay in a safe place 
  • be ready to evacuate your home if required
  • call 999 if you are in immediate danger