Emergency flooding

Current flood warnings and alerts

Find flood warnings in England flood alerts and warnings are issued by the Environment Agency. 

Sign up to get warnings in England by phone, email or text message if your home or business is at risk of flooding. The service is free.

You can also check the weather on the Met Office website or check if you are at risk of flooding on GOV.UK

How to prepare for a flood

  • Visit the Floodline on the GOV.UK website 
  • Put together an overnight bag in case you have to be evacuated
  • Consider proactively protecting your property by protecting doorways and low level air vents with sandbags or plastic bags filled with sand or earth.
  • Check on your neighbours, especially those who are elderly or infirm and inform the Emergency Services or Flood Warden of their location

What to do during a flood

Call the emergency services on 999 and ask for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service if your property is being flooded and there is threat to life.
  • Keep calm, if you are in danger dial 999 and/or attract attention of people nearby
  • Turn off water, gas and electricity supplies at the first sign of flooding in your property
  • If trapped, remain near a window where you can be seen
  • If the Emergency Services are on the scene, follow their instructions
  • Be prepared, you may need to be evacuated
  • Do not enter flood waters as depth and current can be deceiving. Just 6 inches (15mm) of flood water can knock an adult off their feet. The flood waters may also be contaminated with sewage and there may be hidden dangers
  • Move your family, pets an valuables upstairs or to higher ground if threatened by floods

What to do after a flood 

  • Contact your insurer
  • Do not switch on gas or electricity until it is checked by a professional/and or utility company
  • Do not use food that has been in contact with flood water
  • Always wear waterproof gloves when handling soiled items, and always wash your hands if you touch anything soiled by the flood water
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all items soiled by flood water
  • Assume flood water contains sewage

Sandbags and aqua-sacs

The protection of your property is a matter for you and ultimately it is your decision.

We would suggest, however, that you consider other flood defence products that have been proven to be more efficient and effective than sandbags. This video shows the use of aqua-sacs during flood conditions and the benefits of this product when compared to the use of traditional sand bags.

Our Flood Risk Team will assess the risk to property flooding and aqua-sacs or sandbags will be deployed as necessary.

Our role during an emergency

  • support the lead role of the emergency services
  • support the local and wider community
  • mitigate the effects of an emergency
  • lead on the recovery (after the emergency)

Bedford Borough Council emergency number: 01234 718007 or 01234 267422