Preparing for floods and protecting your property

What you should do to prepare

  • Write a plan of how you would respond to a flood - include emergency contact numbers, essential documents and belongings you would need if you had to evacuate
  • Prepare an emergency ‘grab bag’ in case of flooding – visit the Oxfordshire Flood Toolkit website for a checklist
  • Keep your drains and gutters clear of leaves to help prevent blockages and localised flooding in heavy rainfall
  • Make sure you know how to quickly turn off your water, gas and electricity mains
  • Have the correct home insurance policy in place


  • Buying sandbags might help but check government advice about how best to protect your home - visit the Preparing for a flood pages of GOV.UK
  • Residents and businesses can purchase sandbags from most builders’ merchants including Buildbase, Wickes and B&Q
  • Other products similar to sandbags are also available such as ‘hydrosnake’ expanding water barriers - available from Screwfix
  • Oxford City Council will only respond to requests to provide sandbags in extreme emergencies to specific locations - it has no statutory duty to provide them

Visit our What to do if your home or property floods page for more information on flooding.