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How to prepare and what to do if you have been affected

If you are at risk from flooding

Instances of flooding are fortunately relatively rare and flood defences have been built locally which reduce the risk for known high risk areas.

However, flash floods, which are much more difficult to predict, can occur without warning. These occur where the drains cannot initially cope with the amount of water produced by intense storms. Furthermore, many parts of the district remain at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, and our existing defences can be overtopped during significant flood events.

Rather than leave things to chance, if you think you may be at risk it is important to plan ahead and minimise any potential disruption caused by flooding.

If you have concerns that blocked gullies or drains in your area could lead to an increased risk of flooding, please report the details to Lancashire County Council if it relates to highway drainage or United Utilities for the sewer network.

Issues relating to flooding from rivers should be reported to the Environment Agency

If you're unsure which agency it should be reported to, please contact us and we will ensure it reaches the right people.

In the event of an emergency always remember to dial 999.

How can I prepare?

Making your property resilient to floodwater will limit the distress and damage caused by flooding, which means less costly repairs and less time out of your home or business premises.

If you’re at a particular risk of flooding, for example if you live near a water course, you may wish to take additional measures and invest in flood protection measures.

This could include plastic covers to seal airbricks and floodboards to fix to frames around windows and doors.

Will sandbags help?

Sandbags can assist with flood prevention but they are only really useful for diverting moving water away from property. They are not very effective with standing water.

There are some new and innovative alternatives to sandbags, which react with water to provide the same or better defence, but are much easier to store, and will have a longer lifespan. Search 'sandbag alternatives' on an internet search engine to find such products.

The council does not have sandbags available to meet requests from individual members of public as our reserve supply is needed in case we are directed to distribute them by the emergency services.

Many builders merchants are, however, able to provide sandbags and the following will supply empty sand bags and sand.

Delivery charges vary dependant on the value of the order and the distance involved but in some circumstances free delivery is offered. Also in some cases the bags can be filled before delivery although an extra charge will be levied for this.

Sand and sandbag suppliers in the Lancaster district



Builders Supplies (West Coast),M iddlegate, White Lund Industrial Estate, Morecambe 01524 842299
C&C Supplies, Nateby Works, Garstang PR3 0JB 01995 606311
Jewson, White Lund Rd, Morecambe 01524 68878
Keyline Builders Merchants, Marsh Point, Lancaster 01524 34141
Naylor Myers, Cumberland Close, Low Bentham Road, Bentham LA2 7BP 01524 261389
Travis Perkins, Euston Rd, Morecambe LA4 5LN
(submersible pumps also available for hire)
01524 410056

During and after a flood

If the worst has happened and your property has been affected, it's important that you take action and keep any damage to a minimum. The Environment Agency's has produced a useful booklet on what to do during and after a flood to download and read now and have available in your emergency kit.

Practical help and advice on how to clear up after a flood can be found in a booklet from Public Health England (PDF, 176KB).

I-CAN together with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and members of Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHIL), a partnership of the 15 Local Authorities in Lancashire, has produced a Homeowner’s Guide to Overcoming Cavity Wall Insulation Problems which includes advice for homeowners on where to find assistance for removal of cavity wall insulation following flooding.  For details and to download a copy of the guide click on: Advice for Flood Damage Victims

What responsibilities does Lancaster City Council have?

We produce flooding and severe weather plans setting out the response to be adopted by council services when warnings are received of flooding or severe weather.

The flood plan primarily deals with the response to Environment Agency warnings of impending coastal or river flooding in the city council area.

The Severe Weather Plan (PDF, 846KB) covers the response to Met Office warnings.

Issues relating to highway drains are the responsibility of Lancashire County Council and more information can be found on their website at

Where can I get more help, advice and information?

The Environment Agency has produced a guidance leaflet on what to do before, during and after a flood.

Help and advice is also available from the National Flood Forum, which provides support to communities and individuals that have been flooded or are at risk of flooding.

The Association of British Insurers has also produced advice and guidance for insurance customers (PDF, 968KB) affected by floods and storm damage. Householders can also take advantage of the new Flood Re scheme, which aims to ensure flood insurance remains affordable.

Advice for businesses affected by flooding

The Association of British Insurers provide advice for businesses affected by flooding (PDF, 191KB).

Last updated: 28 October 2021

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