This website works best using cookies which are currently blocked. Allow cookies? Allow More info

Listen to this page

Text size A A A Accessibility


Preparing for a flood and dealing with the aftermath

Nearly two million properties are at risk of flooding in England and Wales. You can't prevent flooding but you can prepare for it. The better prepared you are, the better you'll cope with the effects of flooding. Don't wait for a flood to prepare for a flood!

Check with the Environment Agency's Floodline, 0845 988 1188, to see if your property is at risk and also check local flood warning arrangements for your area.

If you think your house is about to flood, follow these tips from the Environment Agency:

  • 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 items to safety

Visit Yorkshire Water's webiste page about floods. 

Remember that floodwater is dangerous and you shouldn't walk or drive through it!

Warning codes

The flood warning system has codes with specific meanings.


Flooding possible
Be aware! Be prepared! Watch out!


Flood Warning
Flooding expected affecting homes, businesses and main roads. Act now!


Severe Flood Warning
Severe flooding expected. Imminent danger to life and property. Act now!


All Clear
An all clear will be issued when flood watches or warnings are no longer in force. Flood water levels receding. Check all is safe to return. Seek advice.

Driving in Floodwater

Driving and dealing with floods

When you have to pass through a flood, take your time. Stop and assess how deep the water is. Don’t just drive into it. Some roads that are likely to flood have depth gauges. Check the depth on these.

Deep water

If the water seems too deep for your vehicle, turn back and go around the flood by another road. It might take a little longer, but that’s better than finding yourself stranded.

If the water is too deep it could:

  • flood the exhaust, causing the engine to stop
  • find its ways into the air intake on some vehicles, causing serious engine damage

Shallow water

If the water isn’t too deep, drive on slowly but be sure to keep to the shallowest part. Remember, because of the camber of the road, the water is probably deepest near the kerb and shallowest at the crown.

Drive in first gear as slowly as possible but keep the engine speed high and steady by slipping the clutch.

  • If the engine speed is too low, you might stall.
  • If you go too fast, you could create a bow wave. Water will flood the engine and it could cut out.
Breaking news Rss
On Call (Retained) firefighter recruitment
On this page you can find out more about the Read more
Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer
Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Read more