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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Flooding advice

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

Flood warnings

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.

Flood Alert

A Flood Alert means that flooding is possible and that you need to be prepared.

Flood warning icon

A Flood Warning means that flooding is expected and that you should take immediate action.You should take action when a flood warning is issued and not wait for a severe flood warning.

Severe flood warning

A Severe Flood Warning means that there is severe flooding and danger to life.

Warnings no longer in force - There is no symbol for this stage. This message will be issued when no further flooding is currently expected in your area.

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

How can I prepare?

Protect your property

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. If you are a homeowner, it is your responsibility to protect your property from flooding. 

Download the Environment Agency’s guide to preparing your property for flooding.

Visit the Blue Pages directory to see what products and services are available to help protect your property.


If you require sandbags you should buy them from local builder’s merchants or DIY stores in advance of flooding.  The Council has no legal duty to provide sandbags – it is the resident’s responsibility to protect their property as far as possible. However, when flooding is threatened, Nottinghamshire County Council may have limited supplies of sandbags for responding to emergency requests from vulnerable residents who are unable to provide their own. The County Council cannot guarantee the delivery of sandbags as roads may be impassable due to flooding and requests may not meet the sandbag prioritisation criteria that the Council follow. 

Please refer to the below guidance to see if you are eligible for sandbags. If you meet the criteria, contact Nottinghamshire County Council on: 

0300 500 80 80 80 (Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 8am - 12 noon)
01253 502776  (out of above hours) 

Sandbag request for:

Prioritisation Criteria

Care homes / hospitals
(business delivering a critical service e.g. risk to life if service cannot be delivered due to flooding of premises) 

If a business provides a potentially ‘life saving’ service, and its buildings are in danger of becoming flooded, then sandbags may be provided with recommendation that facility makes future arrangements to provide their own. 

Other business

Other businesses, that do not deliver a ‘life saving’ service should be encouraged to secure their own sandbag resource. Sandbags will not be provided. 

Property that is currently flooded

Sandbags will not alleviate the situation once a property has flooded. Sandbags will not be provided.

Home owner should contact their insurer. 

Property at risk of flooding

Properties in imminent danger of flooding that are occupied by vulnerable residents (elderly, disability and reduced mobility) who are unable to help themselves. Sandbags will be provided. Sandbags can take up to 3hrs to be delivered. 10-15 sandbags per request will be supplied for blocking doorways front and back. 

If the resident has access to a Community Resilience Store / community sandbag stocks, sandbags will not be provided.  Resident should contact store key holder.

All other requests are prioritised to those of greatest need if there is capacity– sandbags are not guaranteed. Residents are advised to purchase their own. 

Property at negligible risk of flooding or request sandbags when there is no current flood threat 

Sandbags will not be provided.

Resident is advised to purchase their own.

Sheds, garages, gardens and outbuildings 

Sandbags will not be provided.



What to do with sandbags after a flood (disposal of sandbags)

Local Authorities do not usually provide a disposal service for sandbags. For countywide flood incidents it is likely that a disposal arrangement will be set up which may consist of the provision of skips in affected communities. If a collection service is being offered by your local authority it will be advertised after the flooding incident.

If sandbags have not come into contact with flood water, you should keep them for potential future flooding. They need to be kept dry.

If sandbags have come into contact with flood water you can follow the below advice:

  • Split the bag and dig sand into your garden. Empty bags can be placed in your wheelie bin or taken to your local recycling centre
  • Do not place full bags in wheelie bins
  • If you are moving sandbags which have been contaminated by flood water please ensure you wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Wet sandbags are very heavy
  • If you are not physically able to lift and a family member or neighbour cannot assist you, contact your local authority for further assistance
  • Make sure that children do not play with sand which has been contaminated by flood water. 

Write a flood plan

The Environment Agency has an online tool to help you draw-up a flood plan to detail what you need to do if your property floods. This will help reduce damage to your property and will ensure that you and your family are prepared for flooding. 


Ensure you have home insurance in place to cover both building (unless rented) and contents. 

 If you havebuildings cover, your insurer will dry, clean, repair and restore your home. If you have contents cover, your insurer will dry, clean and restore your possessions or replace or pay for any possessions that cannot be cleaned up or repaired. 

Further information on insurance when living in a flood risk area can be found here. 

National Flood Forum

The National Flood Forum provides vital support and advice to local community groups wishing to lessen the impact of flooding on their communities. Please visit their website:

Lead Local Flood Authority

Nottinghamshire County Council is now a Lead Local Flood Authority. Find out what this means, what we have done so far and what our responsibilities are for the future.

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