Be prepared for flooding

Be aware

Check if your property is at risk of flooding:  Risk of flooding from reservoirs .


There are a large number of reservoirs in Calderdale, 13 of these have been categorised by a study commissioned by central government as high priority reservoirs. An emergency off-site response plan has been developed for each of these 13 reservoirs. If you live in an area that may be most affected by a reservoir, you will have received information in November 2013.


If you live in a flood warning area you can receive free flood alerts from the Environment Agency by phone, email or text message when there is a risk of river flooding to property. If you would like to sign up to this service, or change the way you receive warnings, contact the Environment Agency:

Online: Sign up for free flood warnings .

Phone: 0345 988 1188 (Floodline).

Surface water

If you are not in a river flooding area, but think you may be vulnerable to surface water flooding, the Council's drainage engineers may be able to give advice. Phone Streetcare on: 01422 288002.

Be prepared

Don't panic, prepare
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance.
  • Flood damage is included in most buildings insurance policies, but it is worth checking your own policy to ensure that your home and its contents are covered.
  • Keep vital possessions, such as financial and legal documents and items of sentimental value, upstairs or stored as high as possible in waterproof containers. Have plans in place to move such items at short notice.
  • Make a list of useful phone numbers you may need.
    • For example the emergency services and the Environment Agency’s 24 hour Floodline number (0845 988 1188);
    • your personal contact numbers, including friends and family.
  • Add an ICE – In Case of Emergency – to the beginning of one number on your contact list. This is the phone number the emergency services will look for and phone if something should happen to you as a result of the incident.
  • Make sure you know where to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
  • If you are not sure, ask the person who checks your meter when they next visit. Mark the tap or switch with a sticker to help you remember.
  • Prepare a Kit Bag in case you need to evacuate your home.
  • For suggestions of what should be included in the Kit Bag, see: PDFDon't Panic - Prepare [PDF 1653KB]
  • Talk to your neighbours about how you could work together in the event of a flood.
  • Make long term preparations:
    • Board your loft to make space for possessions above flood levels - very useful in a bungalow;
    • Invest in flood protection products that can be fitted to doorways and air bricks for the duration of the flood risk period;
    • Install new electrical sockets as high as possible above the anticipated water levels. Put new boilers, etc on the first floor;
    • Make your own personal flood plan: Make a flood plan;
    • Take steps to minimise any damage: Protect your property.
  • If you own a business, a business continuity plan could get you back on your feet quicker. For further information and advice, see Business continuity.

For further guidance, see: PDFFlooding in Calderdale [PDF 830KB] .

In the event of an emergency

The Council is informed by the Flood Forecasting Centre of any potential flood risks. The warning may be a:

  • Flood Alert = Flooding possible, be aware
  • Flood Warning = Flooding expected, act now
  • Severe Flood Warning = Severe flooding expected and danger to life.

River flooding

Sirens, installed to warn of river flooding across the Upper Calder Valley, will be activated.

Keep informed. Up-to-date information on flood warnings in West Yorkshire is available online, visit: Flood Warnings  or phone: 0345 988 1188  (Floodline).

Reservoir flooding

If there is a reservoir emergency, you may be alerted in one or more of the following ways:

  • Emergency services in your area may knock on your door or use a loudhailer system. You may be given an evacuation card which will give you specific advice about where you should go;
  • Helicopter Skyshout (public address system) warnings may be given;
  • Local television and radio news alerts.

Note: In the very rare case that a reservoir breaches unexpectedly there may be no time to issue a warning.

Report it

If you see flood water, identify the source of the water, i.e. blocked gully, reservoir, watercourse or sewer and alert the appropriate authority. See: Report Flooding .

Support from the Council

During a flooding incident the Council will endeavour to carry out the following actions where necessary:

  • activate Emergency Plans and put resources on standby;
  • work alongside emergency services and deploy resources to the scene to assess the situation and mitigate the effects of the flood by dealing with road closures and diversion routes and monitoring sensitive grids, screens and gullies in an attempt to keep them running free;
  • provide sandbags to buildings which are at risk of flooding from water on the highway. Additionally, if your property is at serious risk and the Council has available resources, we will try to provide assistance;
  • provide advice and information to the public about how to respond to potential flood risk;
  • if an evacuation is necessary, ensure residents are provided with temporary accommodation and transport;
  • assist in the welfare of known vulnerable people;
  • provide advice and assistance to those residents of properties that have been flooded on how to clear up after the event, and assist the community to return to a state of normality as soon as possible.

VHF Radio System

During the flooding of winter 2015, many of the Council’s communication networks were not available or were severely disrupted in areas affected by power loss. The loss of power and the inability to communicate effectively affected both the response and the recovery.

Following a review of the Council’s response to the flooding, a Borough-wide radio network was deemed critical to saving lives and reducing harm so we have now put a tried and tested VHF radio network in place for Calderdale. This system relies on several antennae and repeater sites which transmit the signals required to provide that “blanket” coverage.

We have done a review of the Council’s response to the flooding, and it is strongly recommended that a Borough wide radio network is put in place. This will cover the whole of the Calder Valley, as this has been deemed critical to saving lives and reducing harm. A tried and tested VHF radio system is being created for Calderdale. This system will rely on several antennae and repeater sites which transmit the signals required to provide that “blanket” coverage.

The radio network will not only add effectiveness to the Council’s response, but provide an additional means of communication within the community during major incidents or emergency responses.

See: PDFVHF Radio System FAQs [PDF 61KB] for more information.

Keeping you informed

Twitter logo

If the weather causes disruption to services, schools closure, or the cancellation of events, information will be published online. See: Emergency updates and service disruptions .

Useful Information

You can find current information on flooding, weather and traffic disruptions at Calderdale’s community website: Eye on Calderdale .

For mapping data that includes GaugeMap (river gauge data), see: Data Works .


See also