London Fire Brigade

Flooding in London

Although the Thames Barrier may help protect London from being affected by flooding from the sea, the capital does unfortunately suffer some localised issues from other rivers and during heavy downpours.

As a fire and rescue service, we have specialist crews that carry inflatable rafts, which can be used to help people to safety, as well as equipment to pump away water.

There are however a number of steps you can take to keep yourself safe before and during any flooding.

During a flood

  • Never enter floodwater, either on foot or driving. You don’t know how quickly the water is flowing or what objects might lay beneath the surface. Floodwater could also be contaminated and may make you sick.
  • If possible, move people and pets upstairs or to higher ground.
  • Check for the latest announcements on the GOV.UK flood warning website. If the flooding is serious, you may be evacuated. If this is the case remember to take any essential supplies such as medication with you.
  • Keep an eye on Twitter – London Fire Brigade and Environmental Agency SE – or check local radio or TV stations.



Preparing for a flood

Do what you can to prepare for a flood – you may not have time once the flooding has started.

  • Find out if you’re at risk from river or surface water flooding by checking the Environment Agency’s Flood Map.
  • Sign up to the Floodline Warnings Direct alert service to receive free flood warnings by phone, text or email.
  • Follow us and Environmental Agency SE on Twitter.
  • Make a flood plan and ensure everyone is aware of the measures to take. This document holds key information, such as useful telephone numbers, the location of your electricity or gas supply and what steps you should take if a flood alert is issued in your area.
  • Check you have adequate home and contents insurance to cover flooding. If you rent your home, you will need to have contents insurance to protect your belongings.
  • Consider installing flood defences. The National Flood Forum offer advice on flood resistance and flood resilience measures you can put in place.