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Flooding is a regular occurrence in Scotland and can happen at any time of the year. Areas at higher risk are normally in closer proximity to rivers, the sea, or more prone to surface water build-up.

Preparing for flooding

It is your responsibility to manage your own flood risk and protect yourself, your family, property or business. There are steps you can take now to be prepared and to help reduce the damage and disruption it can have on your home, travel and work. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has free tools and advice available to help you stay informed:

Steps to help prepare

  • Prepare a flood plan and a family emergency flood kit with essential items so that everyone in your household is equipped if flooding happens.
  • Find out how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
  • Keep an easily accessible list of useful contact numbers including your insurance company and utility providers.
  • Consider flood protection products for your property and ensure your insurance provides adequate cover for flood damage.
  • Join or start a local community flood group. Working together to prepare your community for the impacts of flooding will help everyone to cope better.

What to do if flooding is forecast

  • Charge your mobile phone
  • Move vehicles out of the flood risk area
  • Move important documents and valuable items to a higher place.
  • Shut off gas, electricity and water supplies and fit any flood protection products to your property.
  • Check on vulnerable and elderly neighbours.

What to do during a flood

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water - six inches of fast-flowing water can knock over an adult and two feet of water can move a car
  • Do avoid any form of direct contact with flood water as it could be contaminated.
  • Do not use any electrical appliances.
  • Do move to higher ground and wait for the emergency services. Evacuate if told to do so.

Recovery from flooding

  • Find out from the emergency services if it is safe to re-enter your property.
  • Don’t turn on your electricity until it has been checked.
  • Be aware of the health effects caused by a flood. Wear appropriate clothing and protection as flood water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and be mindful of how the stress and traumatic feelings of loss can have an impact on your own and the mental wellbeing of others.
  • Contact your insurance company. If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the damage caused to your home and valuables.
  • Follow Floodline's clean-up check list to help you and your property after a flood.
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.
  • If your property has been flooded and you are re-insuring, you can ask if your property is eligible for Flood Re cover.

More information



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