There are three main sources of flooding: coastal, river and surface water. Of these, coastal flooding has the potential to have the greatest impact. Excessive tidal levels may cause coastal and estuary defences to be overtopped or breached.
River and surface water flooding may be caused by excessive rainfall. There has been a lot of investment in flood alleviation schemes (commonly known as flood defences) to reduce the consequences for all types of flooding in Wales but as was seen most recently in Cockermouth, some floods can overwhelm a flood defence so we need to ensure we are prepared.
What you need to do before a flood
Natural Resources Wales provides a free flood warning service called Floodline Warnings Direct which offers advance warnings to many communities at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.
Find out whether your property is in the flood risk area and if you are eligible to sign up to receive flood warnings by logging on to Natural Resources Wales’ website (www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk) or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
Know what to do to protect your property during a flood and try to ensure you have adequate contents and property insurance.
If you are able to go to family or friends if you are evacuated from your home, make arrangements now. This will form a key part of your personal flood plan.
Prepare a flood plan for your home or business.
Download your personal plan from www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk/alerts/flood-advice.
Work with your neighbours to complete a Community Flood Plan – this will help community members and groups work together when flooding occurs.
If you are interested in developing a Community Flood Plan for your area or want to find out if one has already been developed visit www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk/alerts/flood-advice.
What you need to do during a flood
In the event of a flood it is important to focus on the safety of you and your family.
If you are about to flood, DO THESE THINGS IMMEDIATELY:
- Tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio.
- Switch off your electricity / gas supplies.
- If you have a flood plan, put it into action.
- Move important or irreplaceable items to safety
- Don’t forget to bring your pets and pet supplies if you leave your home
If there's time, fit any flood protection products you might have such as:
- Flood boards
- Airbrick covers
- Sandbags or alternative barriers
- Toilet bungs (only needed for downstairs toilets)
- Any other flood product
You should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. Put the safety of people first and listen to advice from the Police and the Emergency Services. Remember that their concern is for your safety.