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Preparing for winter flooding – guidance for residents & businesses

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While drought conditions may have dominated headlines this year, we all know how quickly the weather can change.  

As we head into the winter months and with rainfall levels increasing, there is no better time to start planning for adverse weather. We are issuing the following advice and guidance to help you reduce the impacts of flooding. 

What can I do? 

Thinking ahead and preparing for what the weather may bring especially at this time of year can make a real difference in your home, business and community.   

One of the first things is to check is whether your property is at risk of flooding.   

We also recommend taking precautionary measures and purchasing your own sandbags in case of flooding emergencies. If sandbags are not available, you can use: 

  • rolled-up mats or carpets
  • bags of garden compost
  • pillow cases filled with soil (don’t overfill them)
  • timber boards (possibly screwed to door frames and sealed with mastic)

What to do during a flood 

There is information to help you on what to do during a flood on the Somerset Prepared website.  The key point is to always stay safe, in an immediate flood emergency or where there is a risk to life, follow the advice of the emergency services.   

Protect yourself from future flooding 

It is advisable to plan how you’ll respond to a flood. Information and plans are available to help you plan ahead.  

We also encourage you to download the ‘Prepare. Act. Survive.’ flood plan to help reduce the impact of flooding.  

You can find up to date information on flood warnings by visiting the flood warnings page on the Government’s website. 

Flooding and roads – key information

It’s important to ensure drains and gullies are clear during the autumn and winter months – Somerset County Council as the Highways authority routinely inspects these but leaves and other debris can accumulate rapidly so members of the public have a key role to play.

If you spot a problem with a drain or gully, or any issue on the highway you can report it easily and quickly here –  Report a problem on the road (

Heavy rain and flooding present a clear and present danger to drivers – road users are urged NOT to attempt to drive across flooded roads as it is not possible to estimate the depth of the water reliably.

A number of Somerset roads have flood gates in place to prevent access in the event of flooding – information can be found here –  Emergency road closure gates – Travel Somerset.

It’s vital to prepare for wet conditions if you have to travel and to proceed with extreme caution if you get caught in flood conditions – you can find information and advice here: Adverse weather conditions (

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