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  • Flooding guide for communities

A guide for communities

1 in 22 homes and 1 in 13 non-residential properties are at risk of flooding in Scotland.

Organisations are working closer than ever before to manage flooding and reduce its impacts.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland have been working together to help your community stay safe by sharing advice and providing tools to improve community resilience. Remember you are the first line of defence against flooding.

By being prepared and knowing what to do if a flood happens, you can limit the damage and disruption of flooding on your life

Be aware

We can all be affected by flooding. Even if your area hasn’t flooded before, you don’t live near a river or you stay in a flat above ground level, you could still experience:

  • Blocked roads
  • Disrupted or cancelled transport services
  • Closures of schools and community facilities
  • Utilities being shut off
  • Difficulties reaching family and friends who rely on you

Check if your area is at risk of flooding. The maps show if your community could be affected by flooding and the potential impacts.

Be prepared

There are simple steps you can take now that will help you prepare and limit the impacts of flooding:

  • View prepare for flooding for information, helpful advice and flooding guides.
  • Sign up to receive free advance notice of flooding
  • Make a flood plan so everyone knows what to do if flooding is predicted.
  • Put a family flood kit together.
  • Know how to shut off power and water supplies to your property.
  • Keep a list of useful contact numbers.
  • Check your home and motor insurance policies provide adequate
    cover for flood damage.

Be resilient

When flooding happens, water, silt, mud and debris can get into your property. You can reduce the damage by:

  • Installing flood protection products e.g. airbrick covers or flood barriers. This could help to reduce overall damage and the amount of silt and mud that enters your property.
  • Knowing how to fit flood protection products correctly - this could give you more time to move your possessions away from flood water.
  • Considering how to make your property more flood resilient when carrying out home improvements. The Scottish Flood Forum has useful suggestions about this.
  • Visiting the Ready Scotland which has information about community resilience and how your neighbourhood can be better prepared for flooding.

Be safe

  • Always put your safety first and don’t take unnecessary risks
  • Call emergency services if you are concerned about your own safety or the safety of others and act immediately on any advice provided
  • Avoid contact with flood water as it may be contaminated with sewage and other pollutants
  • Do not walk, drive or swim through floodwater – there may be hazards below the surface you cannot see
  • Don’t walk on sea defences, riverbanks or bridges
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires

Floodline offers practical information about the health effects of flooding and safe ways to clean up after a flood. Remember, flooding can impact on your mental and physical wellbeing and can affect anyone of any age.

Know who to contact

Different organisations have specific roles to play in flood management. Find out who to contact in the event of a flood and keep this information handy.

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watches are groups of volunteers who join together to make their communities safer. They do this in different ways and are often very proactive in their approach.

Schemes can be large or small, rural or urban. You can manage your scheme to benefit the needs of your community. Neighbourhood Watches are community led and supported by other partners.

Alongside a number of partners, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland offers you the opportunity to get tailored safety information delivered to you by text phone and email. Just click ‘join’ and fill out a few simple questions on the sort of information you want to receive.