As part of ongoing efforts to become more resilient to the threat of flooding, Runnymede Borough Council has a policy for the distribution of sandbags to residents. After considering the many variables of any given situation, we will make an assessment about when it is effective to support very localised issues and when a Community Sandbag Distribution Centre (CSDC) might provide more effective support. A Community Sandbag Distribution Centre (CSDC) would only be considered for major incidents.

This policy is based on the following assertions

  • the Borough of Runnymede is one of the most exposed to river flooding in England. Past events have shown that it is not possible to deliver sandbags to all who need and request them
  • it is not possible to assist in the placing of sandbags at properties. This is because of the number required per property and the number of properties requesting them
  • the effectiveness of sandbags of protecting properties from internal flooding is very limited. Many properties are at risk of ground water flooding as well as river flooding
  • the previous methods of sandbag distribution consumed Council resources. These resources would have been better placed in supporting other parts of the emergency response, such as assisting the most vulnerable with evacuations, running emergency rest centres and assisting in protecting critical infrastructure
  • past efforts of sandbag distribution were unachievable and unsustainable given the limited and shrinking resources of the Council. This was leading to residents feeling frustrated and upset. At the same time, many residents and communities wished to do more to help themselves and others. We hope that our Community Sandbag Distribution Centres will help.

Vulnerable residents

We know that vulnerable residents may not be able to easily access CSDCs or place sandbags around their property. Where possible we  encourage family, friends and communities to support them. The Council and emergency services focus on those who have no support and need direct help with evacuation, re-housing, medication and other support.