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Prepare for flooding

SEPA's National Flood Risk Assessment tool and Flood Maps allow you to check flood risk in your area.

You should sign up to SEPA's Floodline to receive flood alerts, which can be sent straight to your phone. Or use the 24 hour telephone service on 0345 988 118 to get up to date information and advice.

If your property is within an area covered by a SEPA flood monitoring system (ie Airth & Grangemouth), you will be able to sign up to receive a targeted Flood Warning message for your local area.

You can also prepare for flooding by:

  • Installing preventative measures and preparing a flood action plan - The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Scottish Government and the Scottish Flood Forum have very useful information on how to prepare for flooding.

  • Completing our Emergency Information Sheet

  • Checking your insurance cover to make sure it covers flood damage. Consider Flood Re, a not-for-profit initiative aimed at helping people who live in flood risk areas to obtain affordable home insurance.

  • Knowing how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies

  • Preparing an emergency kit

  • Taking note of important telephone numbers and arranging a way of contacting family members

  • Keeping important documents in waterproof bags

  • Considering where you could take your car if it is safe to do so.



What to do during a flood

  • Be prepared to lose your gas, electricity, water and telephone supplies

  • Try to keep calm and reassure others, especially children

  • Cooperate with us, the emergency services and others who are there to help you

  • Avoid contact with floodwater - 15cm of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet, and less than a meter of water can float a car. The floodwater may also be contaminated.

  • Keep checking the weather reports for updates

  • Do not use electrical appliances

  • Do not take unnecessary risks, keep safe. If you feel your life may be at risk contact the emergency services (999).


It is the property occupier/owner's responsibility to protect their property.


The distribution of sandbags needs to be prioritised according to the level of threat to key infrastructure and installations within the council area.


We aim to mitigate flooding to the council area as a whole therefore decisions will be made that maximise these mitigation efforts. Key installations will therefore receive priority over individual residential/commercial properties.

Sandbags will be deployed based on the following 5 priorities:

  1. To prevent loss of life or serious injury

  2. To maintain access for emergency services

  3. To protect key community installations (ie emergency service facilities, hospitals, residential homes, etc)

  4. To protect Falkirk Council's community properties (such as schools and other public buildings)

  5. To protect individual residential or commercial properties.


It will remain, in the first instance the property occupier/owner's responsibility to protect their property through the use of sandbags and other preventative measures.


We will maintain a sandbag stock to meet emergency needs and will work closely with other agencies during a flood event. We will encourage local communities to prepare their own flood risk action plan in case of emergency.

No guarantee can be made that sandbags will be delivered within a specific timescale or that they will protect properties from flooding.

Limitations of sandbags

Sandbags are regarded a short-term and in some ways ineffective solution to flooding due to their limited lifespan, contamination risk and their large bulk and weight. Due to these health and safety concerns, care must be taken with sandbags and they must be disposed of responsibly. It is recommended that sandbags are not reused.


Sandbags will not completely prevent floodwater reaching a property and so properties should remove articles to a safe location above the anticipated flood level.


The council will not be held liable for any damage caused by a failure in sand bags to prevent water entering a property. It is the responsibility of the property occupier/owner to protect it against flooding.

Emergency evacuation

The emergency evacuation of houses will only happen in extreme circumstances.

If the police ask you to leave your home, don't argue. They will ask you to go to a place of safety. If you decide to go somewhere else, let them know so you can be accounted for.

Don't worry if you have additional support needs, the services carrying out the evacuation will make arrangements for you.


If there is time you should take along medicines, warm clothes, any special foods and personal documents. If you have pets you should take their food, baskets and leads with you.

If you have time, you should make sure that fires are out, your water, gas and electricity are switched off and your property is locked up.

Do not return to your home until it is safe to do so.

What to do after a flood

  • Contact your insurance provider, keep flood damaged items and take photographs as evidence for insurance purposes.

  • Get confirmation that it is safe to turn gas and electricity back on.

  • Clean-up only after floodwater has receded. Floodwater may be contaminated so ensure good standards of hygiene if you come into contact with water or flood damaged items.

  • The Scottish Flood Forum can advise you on recovering after a flood including advice on dealing with your insurer, drying out your property and taking care of yourself during a difficult time.

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