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Preparing for emergencies

You can find flood emergency preparation advice on the Staffordshire Prepared and Environment Agency websites.

The National Flood Forum website provides flooding advice and information about how to protect your property.

You can view number of flood warnings through the Environment Agency's website.

We respond to flooding by:

  • closing roads
  • setting up diversions
  • providing sandbags (in line with the county sandbag policy shown below).

District councils may also respond to assist residents in times of flooding particularly vulnerable people. They may also be able to provide sandbags in line with their own sandbag policy. Rest centres may be established if necessary.

We work closely with district councils and the emergency services, and will assist the community recover from a major flooding event.


We don't maintain large stockpiles of sandbags for the protection of private residences for the following reasons:

  • Sandbags have a limited shelf life
  • Sandbags provide limited protection in the event of a flood and often their correct placement is critical
  • Sandbags are most effective when placed before a flood event. In most cases it is difficult to arrange transportation and placement at a location quickly enough to be useful. 

Distribution of sandbags

Although we do not have a duty to provide sandbags, we recognise that we have a duty of care. Because of this, the stocks available to supply in the event of flooding will be used as per the following guiding principles.

  • The use of sandbags will be to protect (in order of priority):
    • life,
    • critical infrastructure,
    • and buildings
  • The distribution of sandbags will be co-ordinated by the Emergency Services working with the council.
  • Sandbags will be used to protect the fabric of properties rather than damage to outbuildings and/or gardens.
  • Sandbags will not be issued directly to the general public
  • Due to the risk of contamination, we will collect and dispose of any sandbags we place.


The primary responsibility for protecting property from flooding rests with the property owner. We are also aware of the considerable efforts put in by the Environment Agency to notify property owners in flood risk areas of the risks they face. We support this approach and urge those living within areas identified as being at risk from flooding to follow the advice of the Environment Agency

You can find further advice on property flood resilience from the National Flood Forum website. 

It must be emphasised that Staffordshire residents who live in identified flood risk areas should not rely upon the county council to respond to a threat of flooding to their property. Instead they have their own flood protection plan and resources in place.

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