New Forest residents and business owners are reminded that planning ahead can protect their property from flooding this winter.

Cllr Sophie Beeton, New Forest District Council portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Whilst we have no immediate reason to think that flooding will happen, planning ahead now for the eventuality of bad weather can minimise the risk of the devastating damage floods can cause.

“Simple measures, such as putting together an emergency kit, keeping a list of useful contact numbers to hand and installing flood protection measures in advance of an event will save time and can help avert serious flooding if it arises.”

A flood action plan could include:

  • Know the risk – You can check whether you live in a flood zone by visiting the Environment Agency website
  • Put together a flood kit of essential items including waterproof clothing, blankets, mobile phone, portable radio, torch, spare batteries, first aid kit, essential medication, bottled water, non-perishable food, a tin opener, home insurance documents and important contact numbers. Keep this kit in a safe and accessible place
  • Consider buying some sandbags – available from DIY stores
  • Make a list of useful numbers such as the emergency services, Floodline, insurance company and policy details
  • Talk about what you would do in the event of flooding with other family members / colleagues
  • Know where to turn off the gas, water and electricity supply. Ensure you switch it off if you evacuate your property
  • Block doorways, air bricks and cellar vents with bricks or sandbags if you become concerned that your property may be about to flood

NFDC does not provide sandbags for general issue to householders or businesses, and property owners in flood risk areas are advised to purchase sandbags from builders’ merchants if a flood is forecast or in the autumn as the risk of flooding becomes more likely. You can find more information on sandbags at

Where resources permit, the council will respond to help householders and businesses to exceptional emergency situations. In such an event, sandbags will be deployed to protect (in order of priority) life, critical infrastructure and buildings.

The Environment Agency operates a free service called Floodline Warnings Direct which provides flood warnings by phone, text or email to property owners in flood risk areas.

Find out more about how you can protect your property from flooding at