Preparing for flooding

Practical help

Videos – personal stories and property flood resilience case studies

We want to give space for people impacted by flooding and living and working in flood risk communities to tell their stories. The below stories tell of the huge emotional impact flooding has and how being prepared and installing flood resilience measures can help.

If you have a story to tell do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you and hope to add new stories to this page.

Sandra talks about her experience of flooding and the peace of mind that property resilience now gives her

Sandra from Ballater in Aberdeenshire was flooded in December 2015. Following this, she was in temporary accommodation for 17 months whilst her home was renovated. The experience of the flood and being out of her home for so long, brought its own stress and upset. As part of the post- flooding renovations, Sandra had a number of property resilience measures installed including concrete floors to replace the original timber ones; waterproof membrane on walls and she made use of the work to install close cell insulation on her walls. She has also invested in flood resistance measures, including airbrick covers and flood barriers for all the doors – these give her great reassurance that should flooding happen again she would have time to prepare and move valuables before any water makes it into her home.

Gordon talks about his experience of flooding and the difference property resilience makes

Gordon from Ballater in Aberdeenshire and his wife were flooded on Hogmanay in 2015. They came home to find their Christmas tree knocked over and mud throughout their home, covering their carpets and up their walls. Months of drying out and renovations followed with concrete floors reinstated and non-return valves installed. Since then, they’ve invested in a number of property resilience measures including hydrosacks, air brick covers and flood barriers for their doors. They now live with the reassurance and peace of mind that if flooding were to happen again, the combination of concrete floors and barriers mean that their house is protected and will stay dry.

What you can do to prepare – a quick checklist

Here are some simple steps to prepare for flooding – this list is not exhaustive.

  1. Make sure you have the correct and right amount of insurance cover – please check your building and contents or business policy with your insurance company.
  2. Take detailed photos of your property and contents NOW before any flood occurs – your insurance company may be able to use this as evidence to properly assess damage to your property.
  3. Sign up to SEPA’s flood warning scheme, this will give you warning of possible flooding and where it may occur.
  4. Find out how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
  5. Keep a hardcopy list of useful telephone numbers (including your GP details, insurance claim line & policy number).
  6. Put together an emergency flood kit.
  7. Consider buying flood protection products for your home.
  8. Think about the needs of children, babies, elderly, the disabled at home and your pets. This will include thinking about medication needs, toys and nappies etc.
  9. Don’t forget to check on your neighbours.
  10. Make an action plan to use in the event of a flood. This will include such as:
    • Identify and list urgent actions in priority of value.
    • What will need to be moved upstairs and will you need help.
    • How are you going to prevent water entering the property.
    • Make sure you have the means to keep warm, food, flasks, etc.
    • Mobile phone chargers, computer data and photographs stored safely.
    • Most things can be replaced, family photographs, often cannot – move them to safety in good time.
    • Move your car to higher ground, if it is safe to do so

Emergency flood kit

Being prepared will make things so much easier if your home is ever flooded. Putting together a flood kit ‘grab bag’ is a key way of minimising the risks and surviving the worst, if you choose to stay in your home or are evacuated to a rest centre.

Essentials if you are evacuated to a rest centre:

What you should also consider:

Flood Kit Considerations

Roles & responsibilities

The responsibility for protecting your home from flooding is first and foremost yours. However, below are the responsibilities of some key organisations so you know who to contact and how they can help:

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

  • SEPA is the flood warning authority for Scotland
  • Check out their flood maps to show where flooding may impact
  • Sign up to Floodline for advanced notice of flooding
  • Has advice and information about how to be prepared

Your local authority

  • Plans, implements and maintains flood protection measures
  • Clears and repairs watercourses to reduce flood risk
  • Is responsible for gully (gutter and drain covers) maintenance for local roads
  • Works with emergency responders when flooding happens
  • Let them know if watercourses are blocked with debris or flood defences are tampered with
  • Contact your local authority for further advice

Scottish Water

  • Is responsible for the drainage of surface water from roofs and paved ground surface within the property boundary
  • Helps protect properties from flooding caused by overflowing or blocked sewers
  • Visit
  • Call Customer Helpline on 0345 601 8855

The Scottish Flood Forum

  • Is a charitable organisation which supports individuals and communities at risk of flooding and that have flooded. We specialise in flood recovery and resilience – and have many years experience in these areas.
  • This website gives more information about how we can help you and your community.

Finding affordable insurance

FloodRe, a joint government and insurance industry scheme launched during April 2017 to help qualifying properties find affordable insurance. If you are renewing your quote, or have been refused insurance due to previous flooding in your area, now is the time to shop around. When you phone your insurance company, make sure you ask them two questions:

  • Are you part of the FloodRe Scheme?
  • Is my property eligible for the FloodRe Scheme?

If you are eligible, make sure you keep shopping around until you find an insurance company who is part of the scheme. See their website and watch this video for more information and see a list of insurance companies who are part of the scheme.
Download the FloodRe PDF leaflet

If you are still struggling to find insurance for your home, do get in touch and we will see if we can help.

Protecting your property

To investigate indicative costs of installing PLP into your property, why don’t you try our property protection advisor?

If you are repairing your property after a flood, have a look at our repairing your property section for information on make it more resilient to future flooding.

Protecting against flooding

Downloadable guides and documents

For a downloadable overview of the information found on this page, please click here.

Having a plan in place that all your family is aware of, before flooding happens can be a real help, making sure you all know what to do if the worst happens. Please download our Household flood plan leaflet to give you more help and advice.

If you are considering what you can do to protect your property then our guide can help.

SFF - Ready For Flooding

Ready For Flooding (PDF)

SFF - Household Flood Plan

Household Resilience Plan (PDF)

SFF - Flood Protection Guide

Flood Protection Guide (PDF)