Surace Water Flooding
Lead Agency in Merseyside – Environment Agency
Flooding can come from a number of sources - coastal, rivers, surface water or burst water mains. Surface water flooding, after sudden and heavy rainfall, happens very quickly.
The predicted impacts could include:
- Risk to life (people and animals);
- Damage to properties, businesses, roads, structures and infrastructure;
- Pollution and contamination of local environments;
- Long-term damage to tourism and businesses.
The consequences could include:
- Disruption to utilities, electric, gas and water supply;
- Flooding of properties;
- Evacuation of residents;
- Disruption to affected businesses;
- Short, medium and long-term accommodation of those whose homes are flooded;
- Unrecoverable damage to businesses;
- Long-term psychological and health impacts;
- Long-term restoration and recovery issues for homes and businesses.
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN MERSEYSIDE?
- Identification of what areas could be affected by flood water and who is at risk;
- Production of multi-agency plans to assist with the evacuation of those communities who are at risk;
- Provision of guidance for the public about protecting property from flooding;
- Strategic area planning to protect the areas at risk;
- Development of ways and means of alerting the public as early as possible when there is a significant flood risk;
- Continuing to invest in maintaining and improving our sea defences;
- Developing flood rescue and assistance for those who become isolated by flooding.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
- Find out whether you live or work within a flood risk area (use the Met Office website Protecting property from flooding - Met Office);
- Sign up to Floodline Warnings Direct if you are in a flood warning area using the Environment Agency website (address above) or phone Floodline on 0345 988 1188;
- Get to know the flood warning codes and what they mean;
- Prepare your home to be protected during a flood (a guide for householders and small businesses) and prepare a flood plan;
- Check out The Flood Hub which is a one stop shop for flood information and resources to support householders, businesses and communities across the North West in becoming more flood resilient.
- Visit the Environment Agency's FloodsDestroy website for advice before, during and after a flood;
- Download and keep a copy of the flooding leaflet produced by the Environment Agency and UK Health Security Agency which provides advice on planning for flooding before it happens, what to do during a flood and recovering and cleaning up after a flood;
- For small and medium sized businesses, download and keep a copy of 'Weathering the Storm', a practical guide for businesses in Merseyside;
- Prepare an Emergency Grab Bag and Household Emergency Plan; include the locations of your water, gas and electricity in case you have to turn these off;
- Have adequate insurance and understand what to expect from your insurer if you are flooded;
- The Association of British Insurers has useful information on flooding insurance;
- Identify neighbours who may need assistance or who may be able to provide assistance to you, in case of evacuation;
- Have supplies in your home that will enable you to cope for up to 3 days should you be unable to evacuate.
It's never too late to take action and prepare for flooding. Follow these simple steps to protect your home or business:
- Check the flood advice in your area to know when and where flooding will happen. Listen carefully to weather forecasts or visit websites, heed warning and advice;
- Charge mobile phone devices;
- Park your car outside the flood zone;
- Prepare a flood kit to help you cope in the event of flooding to your home and business;
- Store valuables/irreplaceable items up high, including electrical devices, important documents and furniture;
- Turn off gas, water and electricity supplies;
- Avoid contact with flood water it may be contaminated and regularly wash your hands;
- Listen to the Emergency Services, if they tell you to evacuate then do so.
If you are trapped in a building by floodwater, follow these simple instructions to keep you and your family safe:
- Go to the highest level in the building you are in;
- Do not go into attic spaces to avoid being trapped by rising water;
- Only go to a roof if necessary;
- Call 999 and wait for help.
More about what to do in a flood
Is it safe for you to drive?
It is safer not to drive in these conditions but if you must drive you can do this more safely by:
- Slowing down;
- Using main roads;
- Using dipped headlights;
- Giving yourself more time to react on slippery surfaces;
- Keeping a bigger gap between vehicles.
More about driving in severe weather
What about flood water?
- It is not safe to drive or walk or swim through floodwater, avoid it where possible and if you are affected by fast flowing or deep water call 999 and wait for help.
Thinking about your neighbours
- Help to protect the vulnerable people that you know, including older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone: they may need support with food and medical supplies.
- If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111.
Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly. When a weather warning is issued, stay up to date with the weather in your area.
- If you have to enter flood water, take care as there could be hidden dangers;
- If your house is damaged due to flooding, take photos of the damaged items to support any insurance claim;
- Do not turn on your gas or electric if you have been flooded. Wait for a qualified technician;
- Visit the United Utilities website for helpful advice if you’ve been flooded and who to turn to for help;
- Follow UK Health Security Agency guidance with some useful information on Flooding and health: advice for the public;
- Read these frequently asked questions about resilient repairs to your home.