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Flood Alerts and Warnings

The Environment Agency issues three levels of flood warnings: Flood Alert, Flood Warning and  Severe Flood Warning 

You can check the current warning state of Exmoor's rivers here 

To receive these warnings as they are issued, you can sign up for flood warnings

Other ways to keep in touch with the latest situation include calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter. 


Government advice on how to prepare for flooding, and what to do before, during and after flooding can be found here

Flood Alert

Flooding is Possible. Be Prepared

The Flood Alert stage is used to warn of the possibility of flooding. It is issued earlier than a flood warning, to give advance notice of the possibility of flooding, but before the Environment Agency is fully confident that flooding in Flood Warning Areas is expected.

A Flood Alert means you need to prepare as flooding is possible.

If you haven’t already done so, you should:​

  • have a bag ready with vital items like insurance documents and medications in case you need to leave your home

  • check you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies

  • plan how you’ll move family and pets to safety


A Flood Alert would be issued for flooding to low lying land and floodplain areas, such as 

  • Flooding of fields, recreation land and car parks;

  • Flooding of minor road infrastructure 

  • Farmland flooding (arable & pasture)

  • Spray/wave overtopping on coast

  • Overland flow from rivers and streams

  • Localised flooding due to heavy storms.

Flood Warning

Flooding is Expected. Immediate Action Required.

Flood Warnings are used to warn that flooding is expected and individuals and organisations should take immediate action to protect themselves and/or their property.


A Flood Warning means you need to act: flooding is expected. You should do all the actions for a flood alert, but also:

  • move vehicles to higher ground if it’s safe to do so

  • move family and pets to safety

  • move important items upstairs or to a safe place in your property, starting with cherished items and valuables, then furniture and furnishings

  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it’s safe to do so; never touch an electrical switch if you’re standing in water

  • if you have property protection products such as flood barriers, or air brick covers, use them now

  • keep track of the latest flood risk situation

A Flood Warning would be issued when flooding to homes and/or businesses where any of the following impacts are expected:

  • Flooding of homes;

  • Flooding of businesses;

  • Flooding of cellars and basements;

  • Flooding of underground rail stations and lines;

  • Flooding to roads with Major impacts;

  • Flooding to infrastructure;

  • Wave/spray overtopping;

  • Extensive flooding on floodplains (including caravan parks or campsites);

  • Flooding of major tourist/recreational attractions.

Severe Flood Warning

Severe Flooding, Danger to Life.

The Severe Flood Warning stage is to warn people of a significant risk to life or significant disruption to communities and to encourage them to take action to protect themselves and follow the advice of the emergency services.

A Severe Flood Warning means there is danger to life: you must act now.

  • call 999 if you’re in immediate danger

  • follow advice from the emergency services and evacuate if you’re told to do so

  • make sure you have an emergency kit including a torch, spare batteries, mobile phone and charger, warm clothes, important numbers like your home insurance, water, food, first aid kit and any medicines and babycare items you may need

  • alert neighbours and offer help if it’s safe to do so

  • avoid driving or walking through flood water: just 30cm (1 foot) of fast flowing water could move your car and even shallow moving water can knock you off your feet

  • keep your family and pets away from floodwater – it may contain heavy debris, sharp objects, open manhole covers, sewage and chemicals

  • wash your hands if you’ve been in contact with flood water which may contain toxic substances

A Severe Flood Warning may be issued if any one of the following impacts were expected/required: 

  • Deep and fast flowing flood water;

  • Debris in the water that could cause death or injury;

  • Potential/observed collapse of buildings/structures;

  • Large town/city isolated by flood waters with no obvious means of escape;

  • Critical resources/infrastructure for communities disabled (no access to food, water, electricity);

  • Large volumes of evacuees;

  • Military intervention.

Severe Warning
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