Get ready

The first thing you should do is find out if your home is at risk. If you are close to a watercourse such as a river or stream you can see if it is likely to flood by checking the Environment Agency flood map. If you are unsure as to whether your property is susceptible to flooding you can find out by calling the Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

If you are at risk you can sign up to Floodline warnings direct a free service that provides flood warnings by phone, text or email. These are issued by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency's Floodline (0345 988 1188) is a free service that provides flood warnings directly to you by telephone, mobile, fax or pager. Practical advice on preparing for a flood and what to do if one happens is also available.

If your property is at risk there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of injury or damage

Firstly be prepared, floodwaters can rise very quickly, so don't wait until a flood warning is issued - this may not give you enough time to get things ready.

Protect your home

Invest in sandbags, vent guards or other flood protection, to help keep the water out. Make sure everyone in your household knows where they are stored and how to use them. In an emergency you can also make them by filling pillowcases with sand or earth.

Some parish councils have stocks of Aquasacks and householders should contact their parish council to check if there are any available in their area. The distribution od Sandbags is the responsibility of Northamptonshire County Council.

You can find out where to buy flood protection from the Environment Agency or in the Yellow Pages.

Make an emergency plan

Think about what you would do in a flooding emergency. Discuss the plan with your family or housemates, so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a flood: