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UK flood warnings: a quick guide

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In the build-up to bad weather or storms like Hurricane Lorenzo, the news is full of warnings about the risk of flooding. But what are these warnings? We’ve put together a quick UK flood warnings guide answering this question and to help you prepare for when flooding threatens.

What are the different flood warnings in the UK?

There are three main types of warning put out by the environment agency when there is a risk of flooding:

Flood Alert

Flooding is possible – be prepared

Triggers include forecasts of intense rainfall for rivers that respond rapidly and high tides with strong winds

Flood Warning

Flooding is expected – immediate action required

Triggers include high tides with strong winds and heavy rain forecast to cause flash flooding of rivers

Severe Flood Warning

Severe flooding – threat to life

Triggers include actual flooding where conditions pose a significant risk to life and/or widespread disruption to communities

Where to find UK flood warnings?

There are numerous websites that provide information on flood warnings. Unfortunately there is no one website for all of the UK, but services that cover each constituent nation. We’ve picked some of the best links:

England: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings

Wales:https://naturalresources.wales/flooding/check-flood-warnings/?lang=en

Scotland: https://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates/

Northern Ireland: https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/Northern_Ireland_-_Live_Flood_Warnings_Weather_related_incidents_/b5tcCpgGqK

Where can I get more information?

Want to know more? Check out the Environment Agency’s in-depth guide. It explains when the warnings are used and includes advice for individuals and organisations – which is available here. For information on insurance that can help for areas that frequently receive flood warnings – visit our homepage.