You are the first line of defence against flooding and you can take simple steps to reduce the impact of flooding on your life.
With an estimated 284,000 properties, businesses and services at risk of flooding in Scotland, it’s likely that you or someone you know will be affected by flooding at some point in life. It's important that in the event of a flood, you know what to do and how to be prepared.
Before a flood
- Check if your property is at risk
Flooding can affect more than just your property, it may impact on your community or your route to work. Use SEPA's Flood Maps to find out if you're in an area at risk of flooding caused by rivers, the sea or surface water.
- Check you are flood insured
If you find it difficult to obtain flood insurance that meets your needs, contact Flood Re. They provide affordable insurance to households at the highest risk of flooding.
- Five steps to prepare:
1. Sign up to Floodline to receive advance notice of when and where flooding might happen.
2. Prepare a flood plan and put a family flood kit together so that everyone knows what to do if flooding happens.
3. Familiarise yourself with how to shut off gas, electricity and water supplies.
4. Keep a list of useful contact numbers, including your insurance company and utility providers.
5. Consider flood protection products for your property and ensure your insurance provides adequate cover for flood damage.
During a flood
If you are signed up to receive Alerts or Warnings from SEPA's Floodline, you will have advance notice and know when and where flooding is likely.
- When flooding if forecast you should:
1. Check Floodline. If you've received a message from Floodline, visit sepa.org.uk/floodupdates for the full update. More details are often provided like the cause of flooding and the types of areas that will be affected.
2. Charge your mobile phone.
3. Move vehicles out of the flood risk area.
4. Move important documents and valuable items to a higher place.
5. Shut off gas, electricity and water supplies and fit any flood protection products to your property.
6. Check on vulnerable and elderly neighbours.
7. Move pets and animals to a safe place and ensure they have enough food and water.
- Do's & do not’s during a flood:
1. Do not walk, drive or swim through flood water.
2. Do avoid any form of direct contact with flood water as it could be contaminated.
3. Do not use any electrical appliances.
4. Do move to higher ground and wait for the emergency services to find you.
5. Do co-operate with emergency services and your local authority who are responsible for co-ordinating relief measures.
After a flood
- Contact your insurance company
If it's safe to do so, take photographs of the damage caused to your home and valuables. If you need recovery support or advice, contact the Scottish Flood Forum.
- Be aware of the health effects caused by a flood
Wear appropriate clothing and protection as flood water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and be mindful of how the stress and traumatic feelings of loss can have an impact on a person's mental wellbeing.
If repairs need to be made, consider making improvements to make your property more flood resilient.
Helpful links and downloads
Guide to flood insurance in Scotland
Essential guide for older communities
Be prepared for flooding: a guide for communities
Keeping your pets safe during a flood
Guide for protecting your horse and farm
About Flood Re