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."
"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."
– Sally Sudworth, Environment Agency
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.
Planners have approved a proposed scheme to protect the town of Cockermouth from flooding.
The town was badly affected by flood waters in 2009.
Now an Environment Agency scheme to construct walls, embankments and flood gates along the River Cocker and River Derwent has been approved.
360 local homes and 55 businesses will be protected. Funding for the scheme has almost been secured, with a pledge from central government to provide £3.3million. Once built, the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding in Cockermouth to a 1% chance in any one year.
A Utilities firm has been fined £200,000 by the Environment Agency for dumping sewage in the River Keekle.United Utilities has apologised for discharging quantities of untreated sewage into the river.
We did not find any evidence of environmental harm but these discharges had the potential to cause significant environmental harm to the River Keekle and bathing water quality at Seascale and St.Bees. The company failed to comply with legislation intended to protect the environment. In this case action could have been taken sooner by the company to fund improvements to prevent these discharges.