The Environment Agency state that over five million people are at risk from flooding in the UK. Flooding is one of the greatest risks to people and the environment in Nottinghamshire - it is vital that you prepare yourself.
Are you at risk from flooding?
The Flood Map on the Environment Agency's website can establish how vulnerable your property may be to flooding. See if you are at risk: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/default.aspx
The Environment Agency's Floodline (0845 988 1188) is a free service that provides flood warnings directly to you by telephone, mobile, fax or pager. Practical advice on preparing for a flood and what to do if one happens is also available.
If you are unsure of whether your property is susceptable to flooding call Floodline on tel: 0845 988 1188.
Flood warning stages
There are four stages of flood warning for the public, each of which is associated with a level of flood risk and a specific action message:
These are issued when flooding is posing significant risk to life or disruption to communities.
For further information on Flood Warnings and to view Nottinghamshire's current status visit the Environment Agency's website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/floodwarning
Prepare for flooding
Don't wait until flooding looks likely as you won't have time to buy or put the measures in place. The key is to act now so you're prepared if there's a flood in your area.
Making your property resilient to floodwater will limit the distress and damage caused by flooding, which means less costly repairs and less time out of your home or business premises.
The Environment Agency have produced a leaflet containing useful advice about how to protect your property from flooding.
The Blue Pages Directory is an independent directory of flood protection products and services. It has been put together by the National Flood Forum to advise and inform the public about what's available to protect your home or business against flooding
Local Authorities do not have a statutory duty to provide residents with sandbags. However, limited emergency provision maybe available during periods of expected flooding / heavy rainfall for residents whose properties are at risk of flooding and who are unable to help themselves through acquiring their own provision.
Households which rely on sandbags to help protect their property should purchase them in advance from local DIY stores and builders merchants. Local Authorities may not have the capacity to be able to respond to all sandbag requests if flooding is widespread and may not be able to reach residents to deliver sandbags due to flooded roads. Councils will give priority to those residents whose properties are at risk of flooding, and are unable to help themselves.
Sandbags are a short term and relatively cheap way to manage flooding, only if they are filled and placed correctly. They are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-designed flood protection products. They are of no use if a property is already flooded. Instead, residents should concentrate their efforts on protecting family members and belongings.
If you require sandbags to help protect your property from flooding please ensure that you purchase them before a flooding incident occurs, or alternatively consider if any other flood protection equipment will be more beneficial for your family and property. If you are a home owner, it is your responsibility to protect your property as far as is practicably possible.
What to do with sandbags after a flood (disposal of sandbags)
Used sandbags will not routinely be collected from residents after flooding incidents by your Local Authority. Please refer to the below guidance on how to dispose of sandbags:
Wherever possible please store full bags that have not come into contact with flood water to use again for if you need them in the future. Often more than one flooding incident can occur in quick succession. Your Local Authority will not reissue sandbags to the same property during one year in most circumstances.
If you are unable to store the bags full, then please empty the bags and store the pile of sand in your garden, or yard, and keep the bags so that they can be re-filled if necessary in the future. The white plastic bags and Hessian sacks are durable for a period of a year or more if they are kept dry and in a shady place.
Please remember wet sandbags are very heavy, try to get someone to help you lift them. Any person unable to lift or move sandbags themselves should contact their Local Authority to request assistance.
Sandbags that have come into contact with flood water maybe contaminated, therefore please ensure that you wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after handling sandbags.
If you do not wish to store the sand or the bags, once empty the bags can be placed in the wheelie bin and the sand dug into the garden if you have one, or taken to your local household waste and recycling centre.
Do not place full sandbags or the sand in your wheelie bin. Do not allow children to play with the sand, or place it in sand pits due to possible contamination. The sand is not suitable for this purpose, and it may harm your children.