The council does not provide sandbags to members of the public on request. Resources are not available to deliver sandbags to private properties, particularly when a widespread flooding event may be taking place. The council holds a limited supply of sandbags, which will be deployed depending on the potential scale of the flooding and using the following priorities:
- Prevention of loss of life or serious injury
- Work to prevent flooding from watercourses, supporting flood banks, etc
- The maintenance of access for emergency services
- Protection of the primary highway network and transportation routes
- Protection of vital utilities, electricity, communications networks, pumping stations
- Protection of vital facilities within the community
- Protection of council property including care homes, schools, etc.
If supplies are made available to the public they will only be issued where officers have assessed the situation and feel that there is an immediate flood risk and that sandbags would help prevent flooding. The council will assess the situation following reports of flooding or potential flooding or when the Environment Agency has issued a flood warning or severe flood warning for an area. Sandbags will not be issued for flood alerts.
If sandbags are issued they will most likely be placed at strategic points in areas known to be sensitive to flooding, for example on street corners, for collection and placement by the property owner.
However, with little warning of some types of flooding occurring it is often difficult to get supplies to communities in time to be of any benefit to prevent flooding of property. Residents are encouraged to think about how they could protect their own property, particularly if it is in a known flood risk area. Advice on property protection and known flood risk areas is available from the National Flood Forum and the Environment Agency. Advice on actions to take if you think your home is at risk of flooding can be found here: