The Flood Recovery Framework provides support for communities affected by flooding after Storm Henk. See our Flood Recovery Funding page for more details.

If there is an immediate risk to life or health, contact the emergency services, call 999.

Councils, emergency services, NHS, Environment Agency and other partners work together to investigate, support residents and businesses who are impacted and help communities get back to normal following flooding.

Preparing for a flood

It is important residents and businesses take all possible steps to prepare and protect their properties if flood warnings are issued.  We advise you:

Check for Flood alerts and warnings - GOV.UK (check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk)

To sign up for flood alerts

To check before you travel - keep up to date with road and weather updates through social media sites like @EnvAgencyMids and The Environment Agency or find live travel updates online.

If your home is at risk of flooding

Environment Agency provides regular updates on its Floodline service so you can check if you are at risk of flooding.  If you prefer you can call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Prepare your home and make a personal flood plan if you're at risk

Leicestershire County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority is interested in recording all reports of flooding in order to identify any patterns emerging.  You can also report blocked drains or damaged gullies on roads which are maintained by Leicestershire County Council Road Maintenance or call 0116 305 0001. 

Check to see if you have a local flood warden

The National Flood Forum, linked at the bottom of the page, is a charity set up to support those affected by flooding. They have a list of available flood protection products on their blue pages.

In an emergency sandbags can be purchased from DIY outlets ready to use in case of a flood. Remember though, sandbags are only a short term fix and may not be appropriate or effective in some flood risk circumstances.

Sandbag policy

We keep a limited number of sandbags, which can only be used to protect:

  • Life and important buildings such as hospitals and substations
  • The elderly, disabled and vulnerable people
  • Access for emergency vehicles

In all other circumstances please buy sandbags from DIY stores or building merchants. Visit the Independent Flood Directory for flood protection products and services.

Water-activated sandbags can be purchased from the Council subject to availability. Charges may vary and are currently £15 per 1.5 metre water-activated sandbag.

In an emergency situation we may be able to deliver sandbags depending upon the individual circumstances and subject to available resources, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Read more information on how to protect your home from flooding on the Environment Agency website.

During flooding

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water
  • Take care while driving, flood water can cause bow waves and could flood properties
  • Do not remove or ignore road closure signs
  • Move any essential items upstairs.
  • Turn off gas, water and electric at the first sign of water entering your property.
  • Move your family, pets and valuables upstairs or to higher ground if threatened by floods
  • Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water
  • Do not on any account touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water

After a flood

  • Contact your house insurer if you are a homeowner
  • Contact your landlord if you are a tenant
  • Do not switch on gas or electric until it is checked by a professional
  • Do not enter your house until all flood water has been removed. Leicestershire Fire & Rescue may be able to help you with pumping flood water out of your house. If other people are affected you may need to wait a little for this help.
  • If nearby traffic is causing further flooding to your property by creating waves, contact Leicestershire Police on 101
  • Take photos of your property for your insurers and don't dispose of damaged goods until insurers have said whether they want to inspect them
  • Get a qualified plumber and electrician to reconnect appliances
  • Don't use electrical equipment that has been exposed to flood water until checked by a qualified electrician
  • Make sure floorboards or damaged tiled floors are fully repaired as flood water may cause sharp edges of tiles or raised nails in the floorboards
  • Look after yourself. Flooding can cause a number of health problems. Visit the Gov.uk website for information about health guidance after a flood
  • Do not use food that has been in contact with flood water
  • It’s very important to wear rubber gloves to move objects or clean surfaces that have been in contact with the flood water, as the water will have been contaminated with sewage and other pollution
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all items soiled by flood water

If you have been in contact with any water that is contaminated, wash hands, cover any cuts and sores and follow the advice on the Food Standards Agency website.


The majority of insurance companies cover flooding.  If you are uninsured you will most likely be responsible for covering all costs of flood damage. Remember to keep records of flood damage (for example, photos, and photograph any goods or furniture before disposing of them). 

It is worth speaking to a number of insurers and checking what cover they can offer. It may be worth checking out Flood Re, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. The aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable.


If you need an emergency prescription outside your GP practice’s normal opening hours you should complete an emergency medicine request through NHS111 online or call 111 to discuss options.
If you require antibiotics or controlled drugs you will need to contact your practice.

Emotional support

If you need any support after a flooding incident, volunteers at The British Red Cross can provide (where possible) free confidential emotional support and signposting to local services.  Call 0808 196 3651. 

British Red Cross support is available Monday to Friday.  If you need help at the weekend contact the Samaritans

In partnership with the NHS, Vita Health Group provide Talking Therapies services to adults 16 years and over who live and are registered with a GP in Leicestershire.

For more localised information and support on flooding, we encourage you to explore Blaby District Council's flooding page at www.blaby.gov.uk/flooding

Food preparation and storage
  • Dispose of any food that has been covered by or come into contact with flood water
  • All surfaces and utensils that food will come into contact with should be cleaned with food-safe disinfectants. If work tops and other areas show signs of damage, avoid food contact with these areas
  • If your fridge has been affected by flood water, make sure it is also cleaned and disinfected thoroughly
  • All crockery, pots and pans should be thoroughly washed and rinsed with hot soapy water before using. You could use a food safe disinfectant to sanitise them after cleaning
  • Frozen food that has been at ambient temperature for a few hours should be disposed of. Check with insurers before disposal
  • Don't eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been covered by sewerage or flood water
  • Don't be tempted to try and salvage damaged food. This includes any food in tins as they may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left from the flood water

You can also find more advice on the Food Standards Agency website, see the link at the bottom of the page.

Cleaning up
  • Dehumidifiers can be used to collect moisture from the air and can aid in drying out a property. Water is collected in the dehumidifier and can be disposed of down regular water drains and sinks
  • Ventilate your house as much as you can after flooding - less damp is less damage
    Put on protective clothing before starting any clean-up
  • Remove all soft furnishings and fittings that are damaged beyond repair from the property
  • Remove dirty water and silt from the property including the space under the ground floor if you have wooden floors
  • Wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water and a domestic disinfectant to wash over all hard surfaces after cleaning
  • Any clothing, bedding and other soft/fabric articles including you want to keep should be washed the highest temperature possible
  • Other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot be put in a washing machine will have to be professionally cleaned or if you want to keep them
  • Your local District Council’s Environmental Health Team can give you advice on clearing up if you have any doubts about it
  • Seek professional advice from a structural engineer if your property is damaged
  • Be aware of scammers – use registered tradespersons and contact your district council if you need help with removal of bulky items. Do not use people who are not registered waste carriers

Advice if you witness flooding

Flooding from sewers

Contact Severn Trent Water online, see link at bottom of page or call 0800 783 4444. To assist them please have your postcode ready and record the incident number given to you. This may enable you to track your enquiry. You may experience difficulty reaching them during significant flood events.

Flooding on roads

Contact Leicestershire County Council's Highways Drainage service or report an issue using their online Report it form or phone 0116 305 0001 if you believe that flooding is being caused by a blocked gully. The problem may be drainage-related or influenced by the capacity of Severn Trent Water Limited’s sewers serving the highway drains.

Flooding from main rivers

(For example, the Soar, Whetstone Brook, Sence, and others.)

Contact the Environment Agency Floodline using the link at the bottom of the page. Warnings of flooding from main rivers can be provided by email or text message by registering with the Environment Agency using the Floodline number 0845 988 1188.

Flooding from ordinary rivers or streams

It is the riparian owner's (for example the landowner's) responsibility to make sure that a watercourse is not obstructed. If you live on the edge of any watercourse you have a responsibility to ensure that it does not become obstructed. 

More flood advice is available on the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Resilience Forum website, linked at the bottom of the page.

Sandbag Policy
Last updated 27 February 2024
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