Flash floods can be very dangerous and destructive, not only because of the force of the water, but also debris that can be swept up in the flow.
The Environment Agency flood telephone helpline should be the first port of call for advice for your area. Their number is 0845 988 1188.
You can also sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct by calling 0845 988 1188
Turn off electricity, gas and mains water supplies.
Move as many possessions as possible upstairs or into the loft.
Ensure that furniture that cannot be moved is tied down to prevent it from floating and damaging other belongings.
Disconnect appliances connected to the mains supply by rigid pipes. This prevents the pipes from snapping if the appliances float off.
Block sinks and baths with a weighed down plug as these can let in floodwater.
Your local authority may provide flood boards or sand bags.
Once the flood has passed, remove all coverings to allow air to circulate as soon as possible.
Flow valves for propane gas or oil storage tanks should also be shut off.
Prepare for flooding with a Personal Flood Plan
Keep extension cables out of water and wear rubber boots.
Avoid enclosed areas which may not be ventilated and where hazardous fumes may build (e.g. garages and cellars).
Beware of rogue traders and cold callers who may try to exploit the aftermath of flood hit areas.
Walk through floodwater, along river banks or cross river bridges if avoidable. As much as 15cm of fast-flowing water can knock you over and banks or river bridges may collapse in extreme situations.
Let children play in flood water or with contaminated belongings.
Re-enter your property unless you are sure it is safe to do so.