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Cambridge City Council

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In an emergency, or when there are flood warnings:

Planning against flooding

While you can't always stop flooding, with the right preparations in advance, and by responding swiftly to warnings when they're issued, there's a great deal you can do to reduce the impact.

If you live in a flood risk area you should do what you can now to minimise the risk to yourself and your property. It's vital that you don't wait until flooding occurs, as you may not have time to do anything.

You can prepare yourself for flooding by:

  • ensuring that you have adequate buildings and contents insurance cover. Advise your insurance company if you live in a flood risk area
  • (if you live in an area of flood risk) being alert and making sure you know how flood warnings will be issued
  • creating a simple flood defence as described below:
  1. Check how many ground floor doors, patio doors, cat flaps and airbricks there are in your home. Get enough strong plastic sheeting to cover all of these gaps and leave a minimum overlap of 80cm around the edges. For doors, cut plywood or similar material to cover the doorway and hold the sheeting in place.
  2. Get some bags which can be filled with sand or soil. These will hold the sheeting in contact with the ground. Any small cloth or plastic bag will do but remember not to overfill them as you will have to carry them and firm them into place.

Following a flood warning

Actions to take:

  • alert your immediate neighbours
  • move people, pets and valuables to a safe place
  • check your car and move it to high ground if possible
  • if flooding is imminent, switch off your gas and electricity supplies.

Other advice

Environment Agency

Check the Environment Agency's flood warnings webpage for information about current warnings and information about what to do before, during and after a flood, including ways of keeping water out of your property.


Visit the GOV.UK website for advice about Preparing for a flood and getting help during and after.