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What are flood protection measures?

Flooding damages lives as well as property. This impact can be due to losing cherished household items and being forced to leave your home. As well as this, there is the mental and emotional impact of shock at what has happened.  

With the climate crisis, flooding is only going to get worse.  

So, don’t just be house proud. Be Flood Smart and protect the heart of your home with PFR measures. It couldn’t be easier. 

PFR works alongside traditional engineered defences and natural flood management. It includes measures to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual homes, speed up repair work, and help people move back into their properties quicker after a flood.

You can make simple, cost-effective changes to your property to make flooding much less destructive and distressing with Property Flood Resilience measures. The main objective of PFR measures is to slow the speed at which water enters your home.

This means that any water that gets in causes less damage to what’s important to you and minimises disruption.

Benefits of Property Flood Resilience (PFR) measures

Reduces the cost of flood repairs by as much as 73% in some cases. 
Effective in managing all kinds of flooding from rivers, the sea or surface water.
Mitigates future risk of flooding, for increased peace of mind.
Allows you to return to your home quicker after a flood.

What can I do to protect my home against flooding?

Flood Re and the Environment Agency have launched a new campaign ‘Be Flood Smart’ to improve flood risk awareness and inspire householders to make their properties more resistant to flooding, so that floods stop stealing what makes their house a home.  


There are three main elements to PFR, and each have a range of changes you can make to your home within a wide range of budgets. 

  1. Resistance

    These measures are designed to keep as much water out of the property as possible. Measures include flood doors and barriers, self-closing air bricks and non-return valves as well as toilet bungs and other elements.  


    These PFR measures help provide much needed time for you to move precious possessions and, most importantly, get to a place of safety if flooding is expected. 

  2. Recoverability

    Sometimes, the resistance element is not achievable and, so, the focus becomes on minimising the effects of flooding. Recoverability is all about making simple changes inside your property, so if water does get in, it causes as little damage as possible.  


    For example, replacing flooring with waterproof tiling and grouting will help overall recoverability after flooding has occurred. This is because Waterproof tiles and grouting dry quicker and are easier to clean than carpets. Other recoverability measures include elevating electrical items and plug sockets and choosing water resistant materials for your kitchen units. 

  3. Preparedness

    Preparedness is the most important, as it enables the provision of the two measures above. It’s all about knowing what to do and when, having a flood plan and maintaining property flood resilience measures. Remember you can also sign up for free flood warnings and check your long term flood risk.


    Being Flood Smart is all about being ready and having protective measures in place to protect your home. 

Flood protection case studies

Nick & Annie’s Story

Nick and his wife Annie live by the River Severn in Worcestershire and have experienced nine floods in the last four years. Their home has a number of property flood resilience measures installed including flood barriers on the doors, pumps below floor level and treated brickwork.

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They now only see millimeters of water inside their home during a flood which the couple are able to pump out using puddle pumps. For added peace of mind, retired engineer Nick is building a flood retaining wall around the property to keep the water away from the structure of the house.

Sue’s Story

Sue and her family have experienced multiple floods in their 200-year-old home in Snoll Hatch, surrounded by three rivers and vulnerable to run-off from nearby fields. After suffering significant damage and loss of control in previous floods, they took action to make their home more flood resilient.

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They installed tongue-and-groove boards and automatic submersible pumps, bricked up external doors, and isolated all electrics below two feet. They also got rid of furniture that sits on the floor and opted for plastic boxes and wall-mounted electronics. Sue and her family learned from their previous experiences and now know how to effectively cope with floods. They have managed to keep the water at about an inch throughout the entire house and quickly dry out the house after each flood. By making these modifications and adjustments, Sue and her family have saved themselves significant amounts of money and heartache.

Ian’s Story

Ian’s home in Reeth, North Yorkshire was unaffected by flooding for the first 27 years he lived there. However, in July 2019, heavy rainfall caused the river to rise and flood the area. Ian’s house was flooded with about a meter of water, damaging everything on the ground floor.

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After the flood, Ian and his family moved to temporary accommodation, which they changed eight times over the next 18 months. During this time, they reflected on how to prevent similar damage in the future. They decided to renovate the house to make it more flood-resilient and energy-efficient. The renovation included installing flood barriers, closing off outlets for the toilet, shower, and bath, and concreting all the floors. They also changed the wiring and the way the walls were fitted. They have been keeping a record of the recovery process since their return. The reinstatement began officially on August 25, 2020, and the expected completion time was three months. The recovery process has been challenging, but Ian and his family have used the opportunity to improve their home and make it more sustainable.

Selena’s Story

Selena’s home in York, UK was affected by flooding in 2012 and again in 2015. After the first flood, they relied on insurance to restore their home. However, after the second flood, they realised the importance of resilience and took measures to make their home more flood resistant.

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They raised furniture and electrical sockets, installed flood doors, and added an internal barrier in their kitchen. They also received assistance from the Environment Agency to install flood-resistant doors. Despite their efforts, they were unable to obtain insurance after the second flood until Flood Re was introduced, which provided them with affordable personal flood insurance. Their home has not flooded since the measures were put in place, and they have been able to reduce their preparation time for potential flooding to just a couple of hours.

  • PFR immersive experience

    Learn about a wide range of PFR measures that can be installed to protect the heart of your home.

    We’ve teamed up with the BRE Innovation Park and the BeFloodReady Centre to show how you can adapt your homes to be resistant to flooding, and also to be resilient to the effects of flooding.

    Step into our immersive video, where we will take you on a tour, showcasing practical and affordable adjustments you can make to your property to make flooding much less destructive and distressing.

    Load experience

  • Things you may not know about flood protection measures

    PFR doesn’t have to be expensive

    When we asked householders why they had not installed PRF measures in their home, 8% responded saying they thought it would be too expensive. In fact, there are many cost-effective changes you can make to your home that’ll potentially make a big difference.

    You can reduce repair costs by up to 73% in some cases, when you introduce PFR measures, meaning that high-risk properties would see any up-front investment covered following one single subsequent flood event.


    You may still need PFR if you don’t live in a high-risk area

    The growing impact of climate change can be seen today and is far from being a “future” problem for the UK.

    Since 1998, we’ve seen six of the wettest years on record and one in six people in the UK are at risk of flooding.

    This is because of increased rainfall, which has been caused by gradual increases in the global temperature.

    With these sobering statistics in mind, it’s clear that householders significantly underestimate their likelihood of experiencing a flood. This causes many to be drastically unprepared as a result. Having never experienced flooding does not mean that you won’t experience it in the future.


    You may still need flood protection measures if you don’t live near a river

    Most people assume that flooding happens most in the winter when rivers overtop their banks because of heavy rainfall. In fact, surface water flooding – caused when summer rain falls on hard surfaces in towns and cities or on dried out land – is now the fastest growing source of risk.


We get a lot of questions about PFR measures and what they could mean in terms of protecting your home. We’ve provided answers to some of these below.

  1. What is Be Flood Smart?

    Be Flood Smart is a new campaign launched by Flood Re and the Environment Agency to improve awareness of property flood resilience. We want you, the homeowner, to make your property more flood resilient, so that floods stop stealing what makes your house a home.


  2. What are PFR measures?

    The main objective of PFR measures is both slow the speed at which water enters your home, in the event of a flood, and to ensure the flood causes less damage. Ultimately, this allows you to protect what’s most important to you and get back into your home quicker.


  3. How do I protect my home against flooding?

    There are three core components to protecting your home against flooding and these are:


    Resistance: Stopping or slowing the entry of flood waters into your home to give you time to rescue cherished possessions and get your loved ones to safety.


    Recoverability: Sometimes resistance measures do not keep all flood water out of your home, so these measures are designed to minimise damage, should you experience a flood.


    Preparedness: The process of knowing exactly what to do and when should flooding occur, as well as making sure your resilience measures are maintained.


  4. Is flood protection expensive?

    A common misconception is that PFR measures are expensive, and this is not always the case; just a small change can sometimes make a big difference. . Following the flooding caused by Storms Ciara and Dennis in 2020, it was estimated that the average insurance claim per household was £32,000.


    Crucially, PFR measures have been shown to be a fantastic return on investment.


  5. Is my property at risk of flooding?

    In short, maybe. One in six properties in England are at risk of flood damage.


    We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of resources here, which should help give you a clearer picture of how high your risk is likely to be.


  6. What is Flood Re?

    Flood Re is a joint initiative between the Government and the insurance industry, established in 2016, to ensure that flood insurance remains available and affordable in areas of high flood risk. It puts a cap on the price consumers pay for insurance premiums.


    Flood Re is required to exit the market in 2039, at which point prices in the insurance market will reflect flood risk. Part of its role is to plan for this transition, to ensure the market remains self-sufficient and householders living with flood risk can continue to access affordable insurance.


    The Flood Re scheme, which ensures homes at flood risk can be insured, does not cover properties built after 2009. This is because planning policy has been deemed strong enough, since this date, to ensure flood risk is designed out through the planning system.


    Since its launch in 2015, 98% of householders with a prior flood claim(s) can now receive quotes from ten or more insurers. 4 out of 5 householders with previous flood claim(s) have seen a price reduction of more than 50%.


  7. What is the Environment Agency’s role in PFR?

    The Environment Agency has the strategic overview role for all sources of flooding and is the lead authority for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, estuaries and the sea in England.


    The Environment Agency is working with others, including Flood Re, to tackle the challenge of current and future flood risks. The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Strategy for England  sets out the measures needed to achieve a vision of a “nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change – today, tomorrow and to the year 2100.”  This includes objectives to increase the uptake and mainstream property flood resilience (PFR) measures.


    The FCERM Strategy Roadmap (2022) sets out the initial actions required to achieve these objectives.  These actions include establishing a certification scheme for installers and running a consumer awareness campaign about PFR to give home-owners the information they need to take action when flooding happens.

flooded living room

flooded kitchen

Install PFR measures today

Below is a list of resources to get more information about property flood resilience measures and where to seek further support.

National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages product directory


The Flood Hub


Flood Mary