Flooding information

This page contains advice and links to information that can help if you have been affected by a flood.

Checklist of things that might be helpful if you're affected by flooding

  • get yourself a notepad and pen, you will be speaking to lots of different people in the days following a flood, so it is a good idea to note down names, contact numbers and what you talked to them about.
  • ring your insurance company and write down your policy claim number.
  • do not turn your electricity on until it has been checked and is safe to do so.
  • take photos of everything that is damaged, furniture, carpets, furnishings, personal belongings, and external damage.
  • be careful what you throw away, the loss adjustor will need to see it before you do. Check with the insurer before you take action to remove anything so that you are clear on what they will need to see.
  • take an electric meter reading, as much of the electricity used to repair your property, such as dehumidifiers (driers) and building works, can be covered by your insurance policy.
  • take a photo of the tide mark on the wall where the flood water has reached.
  • if you are insured then skips should be provided by your insurance company as part of the reinstatement of your property. If you are uninsured then skips can be supplied by your local authority at their discretion.

Advice about returning home with structural damage

If you are the homeowner, have house insurance, and are making a claim, your insurer may appoint a surveyor to assess any damage. If it is a local authority or housing association property, then you should contact your local office.

If you have any concerns about the structural safety of your home, you can contact the building control team at your district council who will be able to offer advice.

Advice if you're not insured

If you are uninsured and suffer a flood, you are more than likely responsible for covering the costs of flood damage. Remember to still take photos of the damage as a record all the same. Your local authority may be able to provide help and local charities may also be able to provide support.

National Flood Forum helpline: 01299 403055

Looking after your mental health following a flood

If a flood has affected your mental health, there are many support pathways available. Some good ideas are to:

  • contact the Sussex Mental Health Helpline: 0800 0309 500
  • contact your GP and ask for an appointment
  • reach out to a friend or relative

Volunteer groups or organisations offering help

National Flood Forum

01299 403 055


Citizen’s Advice


British Red Cross


British Red Cross support line:

If you need help, our support line volunteers can provide (where possible) free and confidential emotional support and signposting to local services Call 0808 196 3651 (Open 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 8pm on Wednesday.)

Roles of local agencies during a flood

There are several agencies that support when there has been a flood, all with varying responsibilities. The agencies include:

  • the Police coordinate the emergency services during a major flood and will help with evacuation of people from their properties if necessary.
  • Fire and Rescue Services who are primarily responsible for saving lives
  • the Environment Agency who are responsible for building, maintaining and operating flood defences and for issuing flood warnings.
  • the local authority:
    • West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and Arun District Council (ADC) have plans in place to deal with an emergency – both organisations will give advice about local incidents.
    • Arun District Council will set up rest centres for people evacuated from their homes and arrange temporary accommodation or shelter for those who have nowhere else to go.
    • West Sussex County Council are the highway authority who deal with road closures and will investigate disruption caused by overflowing drains and flooding on the roads.
  • Southern Water who are responsible for the local drainage network which serves people’s homes. If a home is flooded as a result of sewage, they are the responsible authority and provide guidance for if your home is flooded with sewer water.

Government assistance programmes

Flood recovery framework

Ministers determine when this support is made available and the eligibility criteria. Weather incidents with localised impacts will not usually trigger a recovery support package, however this may be considered in exceptional circumstances. As an indication, funding might, most typically be deployed when facing severe weather with significant impacts across multiple local authorities, such as those seen during the flooding that occurred in November 2019 and following Storms Ciara and Dennis in February 2020.

Advice for businesses

Much of the householder information and guidance, above, will also apply to businesses. Sometimes additional help is available to businesses. This is decided by central government and communicated to West Sussex County Council who pass the information on to us.

What happens about Business Rates if I can’t use my premises – until the support mentioned above is made available business rates continue to be payable. If you have to empty your premises completely for 3 months or more, you may receive empty property relief.

Business Interruption Insurance – can protect against loss of income or gross profit that a business might suffer after an unexpected event, such as damage to your property caused by fire or flood or unforeseen circumstances affecting your suppliers. If you do not have this type of cover it may be worth considering.

Planning for potential flooding – there are some steps you can take to protect your business and trade provided on The Flood Hub.

Communications and news updates

Your local authorities and other partners such as the Environment Agency will share information, guidance and updates on their websites and social media, so make sure to follow those and check websites regularly. You can find latest news on our homepage and our social media links are

Further advice can be found at: