Somerset County Council

Preparing for flooding


This page provides information on how you can assess your flood risk and what measures you can take to prepare for a flood.

You can also read the Somerset Levels 20 Year Flood Action Plan here.

Understanding your flood risk
You do not need to live near a river or watercourse to experience flooding. In Somerset there are approximately 19,000 properties which are at risk from surface water flooding.

Historical information may be valuable in understanding the issues in an area, records of previous flood events that have occurred locally may be held by your local Parish Council, your District Council, the Lead Local Flood Authority or the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency produces fluvial and coastal flood risk maps that are available on their website. The Environment Agency also produce surface water flood risk maps which show areas that may be susceptible to surface water flooding in a 1-in-200-year flood risk. A 1-in-200-year flood risk means you have a 0.5% chance of experiencing a flood every year. This does not mean that if you were flooded this year you won't be flooded for the next 200 years! These maps may assist in increasing your understanding of the risks from surface water flooding. The Environment Agency's surface water flood maps give an indication of the broad areas likely to be at risk of surface water flooding. However, Environment Agency surface water flood maps are not suitable for identifying whether an individual property will flood. For more information on the surface water flood risk maps contact the Flood Risk Management Team using the details on the contacts tab of this page.

You can contract a professional to carry out a flood risk assessment for your property. This can help you assess your current and future flood risk.  

For more information on the risks from surface water flooding contact a member of the Flood Risk Management Team using the details on the contacts tab of this page.

Prepare your property
There is often confusion about who is responsible for protecting their properties. Please note that it is the responsibility of the home owner to protect their properties from the risk of flooding. Therefore, do not wait for a flood to happen before taking action. The National Flood Forum is a charity that provides support and advice to communities and individuals about flooding. They have produced the Blue Pages Directory, which is an independent guide of flood protection products and services. Visit to find out more.  

Who can help?
To help you assess your flood risk, you will need to know all the organisations that have a role to play in flood and water management. The key roles and responsibilities of various authorities and organisations are shown in the 'Roles and Responsibilities in Flood and Water Management' document which can be found in the Information and Resources section of this page. 

Prepare an emergency plan
In the event of a flood, the emergency services may not be able to reach you. It is up to you to plan for you and your family. Think ahead and build your own emergency plan today. Print off a template from the 'Information and Resources' section of this page now. If you need more information or would like a Household Emergency Plan Template sent to you please contact our Civil Contingencies Unit on 0300 123 2224 or email

Who can I call? 
We have put together a list of useful contact telephone numbers which you can find in the 'Information and Resources' section of this page. Why not print the document off and keep it with your emergency plan? However, remember, there is no guarantee the emergency services will be able to reach you in the event of a flood. If it happened now would you be ready?

Report an incident
We have a lot of very detailed information about the areas of Somerset that are at risk of flooding, but we would like your help to inform our work. If you have experienced flooding in Somerset, and have information, pictures or video footage that you would be happy to share with us, then we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

There are a large number of flood incidents that go unreported. Please complete the 'Report a flood incident' form from the Information and Resources section of this page if you have experienced a flood event. 

We will use the information you provide to form a detailed picture of flood risk across Somerset. This will help us understand the communities that are at greatest risk and allow measures to be put in place to prevent the risks where possible. It will also help the communities involved to consider necessary precautions to safeguard their land and properties. 

Please send your completed form to the address on the contacts tab of this page. Please note that this information will be treated as confidential and will not be shared with any third parties.

Unfortunately, we will never be able to stop flooding from happening, but we can try to better understand the risks in an attempt to reduce the danger to people and property. We have started detailed surface water studies in Taunton and Minehead so that we can gain a greater understanding which will help us plan for major flood risk. We have also started a countywide review of flooding 'hotspots' because if we can improve our understanding of the causes of flooding, we can try to limit it where possible in the future. 

Our policies relating to flood risk management are contained in the Flood and Water Management Strategic Business Plan which can be found in the Information and Resources section of this page. 

Laws and regulation
Flood and Water Management Act 2010
Flood Risk Regulations 2009 


Contact: Flood and Water Management Team
Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY 
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

If an incident occurs outside these hours please contact the Police on 101.

If you need to visit a highway area office you can find the address of your local office here.

Did you know you can report a problem on the highway or request a service online, for example report a pothole.

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