Flooding advice

What to do before, during and after a flood.

1 Preparing for flooding

Find out if your property is at risk from flooding by checking the Environment Agency flood map.  

Flood warnings  

If your home or business is at risk from flooding you can sign up to receive flood warnings from the Environment Agency. The service is free and you can get warnings by phone, email or text message.  

You can also check for current Environment Agency flood warnings and Met Office weather warnings.  

Flood guide

If you live in a flood risk area there are things you can do now to minimise the damage and disruption. Our Flood Guide has information on how to prepare, including:  

  • how to prepare a flood plan
  • what you should put in an emergency kit
  • the measures you can take to protect your home against flooding
  • how your community can prepare by creating a Community Emergency Plan or forming a Flood Action Group.  
Read Your Essential Flood Guide (PDF, 751KB)


We do not supply sandbags to residents or businesses. As a householder you can purchase sandbags from builders' merchants.

Reservoir flooding off-site emergency plan

We are responsible, together with our Sussex Resilience Forum partners, for co-coordinating and preparing off-site emergency plans. These include warning and informing communities about reservoir failure and flooding.

Useful links

2 During flooding

If floods are forecast you can find the latest information by:

  • listening to BBC Sussex, Heart Sussex FM, for the latest travel information and to find out which council services may be disrupted
  • following WSCC news on Twitter using the hashtags #floodaware and #westsussex for updates.

What to do if floods are imminent

  • Put your flood plan into action.
  • Protect what you can by moving pets, vehicles, valuables, sentimental items and important documents to safety or higher ground.
  • Prepare an emergency kit, containing things such as food that doesn't need cooking, clean bottled water and warm clothes.
  • Charge your mobile phone.
  • Alert vulnerable neighbours.
  • Switch off gas, electricity and water at the mains.
  • Ensure sandbags or floor boards, air-brick covers and other flood protection products are in place.
  • Plug sinks, baths or low level shower trays and weigh them down to prevent backflow.

Our Flood Guide has additional information on what to do:

  • if you need to evacuate
  • to stay safe in a flood.
Read Your Essential Flood Guide (PDF, 751KB)

Travel information

3 Recovering from flooding

If you have been flooded our Flood Guide has useful advice on:

  • what to do first after you return home
  • the 3-step clean-up
  • obtaining personal help in coping with the aftermath
  • financial help
  • dealing with your insurance company
  • avoiding rogue traders.
Read Your Essential Flood Guide (PDF, 751KB)

4 Disposing of waste

Most water damaged waste can be disposed of at your local Recycling Centre.

This includes bulky household items, carpets, electrical items and hazardous waste, such as fluorescent tubes, gas bottles, car batteries, household and garden chemicals.

More information on recycling can be found on the West Sussex recycles website.

Last updated:
24 October 2023
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