Knowing the Risk of Flooding

Heart's being told not everyone whose homes are at risk from flooding rivers have signed up to get warnings about them.

Whilst 97% of homes in Suffolk who can do it, have done, only 31% or around a third of homes in Norfolk which are at risk have done the same.

It comes as the Environment Agency prepares to contact all at-risk properties when there is heavy rain unless they opt-out of the warnings.

Flood Incident Manager David Kemp has been telling HEART they have come up with a more targeted system.

He said: "Although we are duty bound to issue our flood warning two hours ahead of a first property flooding, we don't want to be ringing round everyone just because one house near a river has taken in water, so we're breaking down our areas."

"Areas close to the river will receive that warning when that small flood is on then another area further away will get theirs - We've done that mapping now, and the registration for the opt-out scheme will take place this spring."

The Environment Agency operates a four tier warning system:

  • Flood Alert - Flooding is possible. Be prepared.
  • Flood Warning - Flooding is expected. Immediate action is required.
  • Severe Flood Warning - Severe flooding. Danger to life.
  • Warnings no longer in force - Warnings have been removed in the last 24 hours.

You can find out if you're home, business or place of work is at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea by calling the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the website.

If you are at risk, sign up to receive free flood warnings. You can receive these by phone call, text and e-mail and they will give you a heads up when flooding is expected.

The Environment Agency also encourages people to think about the following:

Find out if your insurance covers flooding.

Have a flood plan - this would include lists of important contact details as well as information about what you would need to move.

Do you know where you could move your car too and would you be able to pick your children up from school?

Do you know where you can turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies?

Do you have neighbours who might need help?

Put together a flood kit - include a wind up or battery operated torch (you may lose power) and radio (to listen out for more information), warm and waterproof clothing, water, food and medication. Don't forget toys and food for children and pets.