Flooding advice and how to prepare

Flooding can happen at any time of year so it's important that you're always prepared. Find out if you're at risk of flooding.

You can visit the GOV.UK website for general advice about flooding or call the Environment Agency on 0345 988 118.

Flood warnings and keeping up to date with the latest information

Keep an eye on the Met Office website for weather warnings if heavy rain's expected, or sign up for flood warnings if you're in an area at risk.

You can see flood warnings for Barnsley on GOV.UK. Stay up to date with the latest information from us on Facebook, X and in the alerts section of our website.

For travel disruptions visit the Travel South Yorkshire website, follow @TSYalerts on X, or call Traveline on (01709) 515151 for more information.

Preparing for flooding

The Met Office website has some useful guidance around protecting your property from flooding. You should also check your home insurance details; your insurer will normally be your first point of contact if your home or belongings are affected.

Sand bags

Sand bags can help to keep water out for short periods and filter out muddy sediments found in flood waters. However, they won't totally prevent floodwater encroaching into property. If you live in an area at risk of flooding you should always move items to a safe location above the level you expect to water to reach.

We don't provide sand bags, but they're cheap and readily available from DIY stores. If you're building flood defences with sand bags you should be aware of the right building methods. This will give you an effective seal.  It will also show health and safety implications of handling them due to their weight.

We maintain a limited stock of sand bags which are deployed for use on the highway network on a priority basis.

Flood air brick covers

Flood air brick covers can help to prevent flooding by fitting to your brickwork and creating a protective seal.

Flood air brick covers

If you need to leave your home due to flooding

You should prepare a bag of essential items which includes clothing, medicines and insurance documents if you need to leave your home. Please also include items such as hand sanitiser and face coverings.

If you need to leave your home to due to flooding, turn off gas, water and electricity before you leave.  Move as many items as possible upstairs or to safety. You should also move your family, pets and car to a safe location. Put up any flood protection you may have for your home before leaving.

If you can, contact your insurance company who'll help you find a place to stay.

If this isn't possible and if you do need to leave your home due to flooding, call us on (01226) 773555. If you live in a Berneslai Homes property please call (01226) 787878.

Looking after yourself

Remember to always follow advice from the emergency services to keep yourself and your family safe.

You should stay away from swollen rivers and not walk or drive through floodwater as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

If you're in severe and immediate danger call 999.

If you've been affected by flooding

If you've been affected by flooding, after you’ve dealt with practical issues and are getting back on your feet it's only natural to experience strong thoughts and feelings. Major events such as flooding can affect us emotionally and psychologically.

If you’re finding it difficult to cope, or you’re feeling more low or anxious than you might expect, help is available for you, your family and your loved ones.

Contact your doctor, NHS 111, Samaritans Barnsley (call 116 123, free from any phone) or Red Cross (call 0344 871 1111).

Also, take a look at the Public Health England guide to mental wellbeing after a flood.

More advice

Flood prevention for developers

Developers should consider the flood risk implication of any new development before submitting a planning application for a new site.

You should consult the Local Plan to identify suitable areas for new developments. Considering the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to manage surface water run off from new development sites.

Areas at risk of flooding 

You can check which areas have been flooded before and those at risk of flooding in the future in the following preliminary flood risk assessments (PFRAs):

You can also check the government's flood information service for more information.

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

As the lead local flood authority for the borough we've a duty, under the Flood and Water Management Act (2010). This duty includes making a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy to reduce flood risk from surface water, ordinary watercourses, groundwater and small reservoirs.

The strategy and appendices are included below.

Be flood ready 

Find out more information about how to be flood ready.  

Flood advice for food businesses

If you're a food business, take a look at the document below for flood advice.