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Flooding… ‘what if?’

Rosalind McDonagh and Keith Wilburn share their experiences of the Doncaster Flooding in June 2007 and give advice on staying safe during a flood.

When we think of flooding, images of the levees breaking in New Orleans (2005) or the annual flooding in India/Asia may spring to mind, however, there are very few places in the UK that are immune to floods.

In this video we talk to Rosalind McDonagh, Senior Emergency Planning Officer, Doncaster Council and Keith Wilburn, Community Flood Warden and Resident of Toll Bar in Doncaster about their experiences during the Doncaster Flooding in June 2007. The flooding caused widespread damage and displaced many hundreds of people.

What can you do if you’re about to be flooded?

The following links offer advice on how to be prepared.

Check the National Flood Forum or speak to a Floodline adviser to find out how to stay safe during a flood.

Floodline is a 24-hour service: Telephone: 0345 988 1188. Find out about call charges

You can check if there’s currently a flood warning in your area.


Contact your local council to find out where to get resources. Sandbags are not as effective as some resources as they can get contaminated and are then difficult to dispose of. Many Local Authorities do not supply them for these reasons.

Look for Flood Sacs or “sandless sandbags” (brands include ‘Floodsax’ and ‘Hydrosacs’). These have Fullers-Earth inside them and expand on contact with the water which means they are better at sealing gaps. They can also be disposed of safely. A number of companies also do emergency kits that can quickly seal vulnerable parts of premises. Floodkit provides a good example of products available.

If you need to travel, check flood warnings and road travel information.


Having considered the practical steps you can take, make notes in your Action Workbook.

  • How might you ensure any valuable items that can’t be replaced are made safe?
  • We asked in the steps about fire what would you leave behind. Has this changed?
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Staying Safe: How to be Prepared in the Modern World

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