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Flooding: Be Prepared

How to find out if you're at risk or flooding, how to prepare for a flood, what to do if there is flooding happening now and information about roads closed due to flooding.

If a flood is happening now and there is a risk to life, call 999.
Please be aware that during severe weather, the emergency services will be very busy.

On this page:

Find out if you are at risk of flooding

To find out if your property is at risk of flooding, you can check the long term flood risk on the GOV.UK website.

You can find historical flooding information and the process in West Berkshire for managing flood risk on our Flood Risk Management page.


Roads closed due to flooding

For the latest road closure details, please visit the road closures map.



Sewage flooding and blockages can occur during a flood and is a health hazard. Sewers and drains can also become blocked at any time.

Sewage flooding

Intense rainfall can cause sewage flooding, if the flood water finds its way into the sewers. Flood water can then become contaminated with sewage which is hazardous to health and should be managed carefully.

Contact your GP immediately or call NHS 111 if you have diarrhoea or vomiting after a flood and tell them about the flooding.

Following basic hygiene procedures can help reduce the health risk from sewage flooding:

  • wash hands and disinfect footwear after any contact with the sewage
  • keep children and pets out of any area affected by sewage flooding
  • whilst cleaning up after flooding, protect cuts and grazes with waterproof dressings and wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves

Do not eat any fruit or vegetables growing in the garden if it has flooded, and do not plant any more for at least six months after sewer flooding. In the six months after this period you can plant new crops, provided that you do not harvest them for at least two months.

Who to contact if you have problems with sewers or sewage

Thames Water is responsible for maintaining, repairing and clearing sewers and drains. You can find contact details and information about clean up and compensation on the Thames Water website.


What you can do to prevent flooding

If your property is in a flood prone area then you are strongly advised to:

Flood Forums in West Berkshire include:

You can find more information about what to do on the National Flood Forum website. The National Flood Forum website clearly sets out who is responsible for what, including home/property owners. In addition, there is guidance on the flood toolkit website on how to protect your property. 

The forum is a charity run by people who have experienced flooding or have first-hand experience of supporting victims of flooding. It offers advice and support to communities and individuals who have been flooded or are at risk of flooding.


Please note: the Council does not normally provide sandbags to individual properties.

Property owners should therefore consider in advance what they can do to protect their own home and have a plan to put any physical protective barriers in place in good time. When considering what defences may be appropriate, the type of flooding (river, flash or groundwater) should be taken into account since one defence may not be suitable for all flood types.

Sandbags may be used by home owners but they need to be obtained in advance, are heavy to use and need to be 'built' carefully to help reduce the water entering a property (which eventually it will). They will also hold contaminated water and are heavy to dispose of.

For more information please see our sandbag policy.

Protecting your property from flooding

The Met Office has advice on protecting your home and preparing for a flood which could save your family, possessions and livelihood.


Current flood warnings

To view any flood warnings which are currently in force across West Berkshire, please visit the check for flooding page on the Gov.UK website.

Report flooding

Please visit our 'Report an emergency' page to find out how to report flooding.


What to do if a flood is happening now

During a flooding incident, you should focus on the safety of yourself and others and stay out of floodwater.

If there's a flood happening near you, follow the five steps below to make sure you are well prepared and safe.

If you need to be evacuated, please visit our Evacuation and Shelter page for more guidance.

Step 1:

Follow the advice provided by the flood warning including:

  • Moving vehicles out of flood risk areas
  • Putting in place any physical flood defences you have
  • Prepare your grab bag

Step 2:

If flood water is likely to enter your home, close and lock downstairs windows and doors. Keep the keys safely to hand and move upstairs.

Step 3:

Continue to listen to updates from your local radio station, the council website and social media, and any local flood wardens. You can call ​​​​​​​Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Step 4:

Stay in your property if it is safe to do so but be prepared to move out should you be asked to by the emergency services, council staff or local flood wardens. Remember to have your grab bag ready.

Step 5:

Do not drive or walk through floodwater. If it is necessary to walk through shallow water, beware of hidden holes, obstacles and other hazards.

If you come into contact with floodwater, wash any exposed skin with bottled or cool boiled water before handling food or looking after wounds. Flood water often has sewage and other materials in it which may lead to infections and illness.


Flood recovery grants

For information and forms for flood grants, including the Community Recovery Grant, Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme and Business Repair Grant, see our flood grants page.

Watch the video below for more information about what roles the various agencies undertake during flooding.



Flood Risk Management

Find out about how we respond to, and protecting against, flooding.

Sandbag Policy

West Berkshire Council's Policy regarding the deployment of sandbags and other flood defence equipment.

Keeping Safe and Well When Cleaning Your Home After Flooding

Flooding can cause a range of health problems. There may be direct effects such as physical injury, or an increased risk of developing skin or gut infections through contact with contaminated food water. Longer-term effects can include mental health and wellbeing issues and chest problems due to exposure to mould and damp.

Flood Grants

Information and forms for flood grants, including the Community Recovery Grant, Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme and Business Repair Grant.

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