After one of the wettest summers on record, the environment agency are encouraging householders to get to know their flood risks and make plans to protect their properties over the winter.
It has launched 'Flood Action Month' to try and encourage residents and businesses to safeguard their families, possessions and livelihoods.
The Environment Agency's Flood Executive for the North West, Sally Sudworth, said:
"One in six properties are at risk from flooding in England, but only five per cent of people living and working in these locations accepts that risk. Knowing your flood risk and being prepared could save your family, possessions and livelihood.
"You can check your risk of flooding from rivers and the sea on the Environment Agency's online flood map and then find out what you can do to protect yourself on our website or by speaking to us."
– Sally Sudworth, Environment Agency
"Surface water flooding, which happens when rainfall cannot drain away quickly enough, is harder to predict, so it's important that people get to know flooding hotspots in their neighbourhoods and keep an eye on the weather."
The Environment agency list seven ways which people can make to protect homes and businesses.
- Check your flood risk from rivers and the sea by typing your postcode into the Flood Map at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.
- Develop a flood action plan so you know what to do if flooding is imminent - a useful guide can be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.
- Sign up for free flood warnings if available in your community by calling the Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
- Keep an eye on the weather, look out for surface water flooding, and check the flood risk forecast.
- Consider buying flood protection products for your home.
- Prepare your home for flooding by storing precious items upstairs or in high cupboards.
- Keep up to date with flood warnings in your location.