Flooding: who does what?


  • Make sure you have the correct insurance cover.
  • Consider installing flood protection products.
  • Find out how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
  • Keep a list of useful telephone numbers (including your GP details, insurance claim line and policy number).
  • Put together an emergency flood kit.
  • Think about the needs of children, babies, elderly, the disabled at home and your pets. Don't forget to check on your neighbours.
  • Take detailed photographs of your property and contents NOW before any flood occurs.
  • Make an action plan to use in the event of a flood.
  • Register to receive Floodline Scotland messages.

Aberdeen City Council

  • Assesses water bodies for conditions likely to pose a flood risk. 
  • Undertakes maintenance works in water bodies, including the clearance of watercourses where the works will significantly reduce flood risk.
  • Maintains existing flood prevention schemes.
  • Maintains road gullies - these are not designed to cope with extreme weather events but it is still important that they operated efficiently to avoid localised flooding. Report blocked road gullies to the Council.
  • Exercises planning and development control (with flood risk advice from SEPA).
  • Works with emergency services in response to severe flooding.
  • Co-ordinates reception centres for people evacuated from their homes and arranges temporary accommodation if appropriate.
  • Co-ordinates the aftermath of a flood.
  • Deals with road closures (except on trunk roads).
  • Delivers the North East Local Flood Risk Management Plan.

Local Authorities also have powers to promote new flood alleviation schemes where these can be justified and funding is available. There is no statutory duty on a Local Authority to prevent property from flooding.


  • Monitors the rivers and the sea to predict the likelihood of flooding.
  • Issues flood risk messages and offers flood preparation advice through Floodline – 0845 988 1188.
  • Provides information on areas at risk of river and coastal flooding.
  • Helps local authorities identify sustainable actions to manage flooding.

Scottish Water

  • Manages public water and waste network, including assessing the risk of surface and sewer flooding.
  • Minimises the risk of sewer flooding.
  • Reservoir maintenance.
  • Works with other organisations to reduce impact of floods and create surface water management plans.


  • Emergency services co-ordination.
  • Road traffic control.
  • Responsible for saving lives, evacuation and public information.

Fire and Rescue Service

  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has a duty to save lives in the event of serious flooding which is likely to cause one or more individuals to die, be seriously injured or become seriously ill.

Transport Scotland

  • Gully (gutter and drain covers) maintenance for main roads.
  • Main road closures.

Scottish Government

  • Responsible for overall flooding policy.
  • Funds SEPA's flood warning services.

Scottish Flood Forum

  • Offers support and advice on flood protection, insurance, recovery, advice on establishing community flood groups and business continuity planning.
  • Represents the interests of people affected by, or at risk of, flooding. Please visit the Scottish Flood Forum for more information.
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