Local authorities have no legal obligation to provide assistance during flooding situations; it is the home owner's responsibility to protect their own property. However, Amber Valley Borough Council would like to remind residents of the necessary steps they can take in order to cope with and be prepared for flooding and the assistance the Council and other organisations can give.
Report: If local roadside drains or culvert screens appear blocked, please report this to the county council highways department.
Sandbags: Sandbags are available from builders’ merchants. Other protection systems are available commercially (see the Environment Agency or National Flood Forum websites for guidance).
An initiative between Amber Valley Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council offers residents a supply of 10 free empty sandbags with guidance literature which can be collected from the Amber Valley Town Centre Offices (Alfreton, Belper, Heanor and Ripley) or by telephoning Derbyshire County Council on 01629 533190.
Although the Council does not have a statutory duty to provide assistance in the event of flooding, it recognises that many residents look to the council for emergency assistance in times of crisis. The Council therefore aims to provide a limited number of free filled sandbags where there is an immediate risk of flooding. This is in line with the Derbyshire wide free sandbag policy and is based on a suitable assessment of risk. The assessment will take into account:
- Whether the property has been flooded before
- The source of the potential flood
- How far the water is from the residential property.
This service is subject to availability of staff out of hours - please call 01773 841414 out of hours.
Are you at risk? Find out if your property is deemed at risk of flooding by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit the Environment Agency website and enter your postcode in the flood warning information service.
Prepare: The most important thing is to prepare now. Don't wait until flooding looks likely as you won’t have time to buy or put the measures in place.
Protecting your property: For detailed information on steps you can take to protect your property, please see the 'Preparing your property for flooding' PDF in the Related Documents section at the foot of this article. You can also find further details on flooding, flood protection equipment etc. on the Environment Agency and National Flood Forum websites (see links below).
Responding to Flooding: When flood alerts/severe weather warnings are issued by the Environment Agency/Met Office, residents living in areas deemed at risk of flooding can call Amber Valley Borough Council and request free filled sandbags to be delivered to their property. However, no guarantees can be made in terms of how soon these bags can be sent out as staff may need to be called in (out of office hours) to fill sandbags, it is a very heavy and time consuming job to fill sandbags and then dependent upon road conditions detours may need to be taken because of flooded roads. Only small amounts of sandbags are stored already filled as the bags will rot if stored full. As such it is strongly advised you equip yourself with sandbags before any risk of flooding arises.
- If you are unable to access sandbags in the event of a flood, you can create your own by filling a pillow case with soil
- Switch-off electric and gas supplies
- Move important items to safety.
For further advice on what to do during or after a flood, please see the PDF in the Related Documents section at the foot of this article or the Environment Agency and National Flood Forum websites.