Severe Weather - How We Plan for It and What You Can Do

The District Council works closely with partner agencies across Sussex to plan for severe weather, however there is a limit to what we can do.

This is where you come in, when Mid Sussex falls victim to severe weather, we may need you to do your bit. The information on this page will let you know what the local authorities will do during a severe weather event and give advice on what you can do to help yourself, your family, your business and your community.

Mid Sussex District Council has produced a Severe Weather Plan to provide information on how we work with our partners following such events to minimise their impact.

For more information on what to do when severe weather is forecast, go to the Met Office website.

The Cabinet Office Winter Weather webpage contains all of the latest severe weather information from central government.  

Winter Weather (Snow and Ice)

West Sussex County Council are responsible for maintaining public highways and this is particularly challenging during times of severe weather. Go to the West Sussex County Council's Road Winter Maintenance page (external website).

Click here for more information on the Met Office Get Ready for Winter Campaign

The District Council  has provided equipment to enable local volunteers to clear ice and snow from pavements, and this has been successful in helping keep our communities moving after snowfall. Contact your local Town of Parish Council if you would like to volunteer to help out during a severe weather event.

Here are a few tips for snow clearance:

  • If possible clear snow when it's fresh as it's easier to move
  • Do not use hot water as it can re-freeze making conditions more hazardous
  • Apply salt sparingly - as little as a tablespoonful can treat as much as a square metre of ice.
  • Table salt or dishwasher salt can be used to melt snow and ice.
  • Sand, grit or ash can be used but it will not melt snow or ice, it will simply provide more grip. It will also leave a mess when the snow melts. 

Severe weather conditions can be life threatening, especially to those who are less likely to be able to look out for themselves. During these times, you can help your more vulnerable neighbours by calling in on them to check that they are warm, well and have sufficient food supplies.

Click here and take ten minutes to get your business winter ready


If you are concerned about flooding in your area, you should use the information in this section to assess the risk to your property and take the necessary steps to prepare. Click here to go to the UK Government's flood webpage where you can  sign up to receive warnings and prepare a personal flood plan.

The Environment Agency are primarily responsible for monitoring the risk of flooding. Go to the flooding pages of the Environment Agency Website.

Rainfall and river levels are monitored 24 hours a day and the information is used to forecast the possibility of flooding. Find the latest information from the Environment Agency on river levels in your area. If rainfall and river levels are such that flooding is anticipated, warnings will be issued in the following way: 


Icon Level Action
 flood alert icon - white triangle bordered with orange with an icon of a house surrounded by water Flood Alert     Flooding is possible! Be aware! Be prepared!
 Flood warning - triangle bordered with red showing a house slightly submerged by water Flood Warning  Flooding is expected to affect homes, businesses and main roads.  Act now to protect your property!
 Severe flood warning - triangle with a red border showing a red house almost entirely submerged by water Severe Flood Warning  Severe flooding expected.  Imminent danger to life and property.  


The Environment Agency provides a Floodline Service - Telephone Number 0845 988 1188. You can listen to recorded flood warning information or speak to an operator for general information and advice, 24 hours a day. Sign up to the Environment Agency's Free Flood Warning Service.

The EA also provides information on how to prepare your property if you are at risk of flooding and some advice on what to do during a flood.

When installed properly, sandbags can act as a last-line of defence against flooding, but they take time to install and are not always 100% effective. For more information, the EA have produced a leaflet entitled, 'Sandbags and how to use them'

Please note, Mid Sussex District Council does not supply sandbags to protect individual properties from flooding as this responsibility remains with the owner. For this reason, the Council does not stock sandbags.

Go to our Flooding and Drainage pages for more information and there is also some helpful advice on the West Sussex County Council Flooding webpage.

In addition, Public Health England provides information on how to look after yourself and your family if your property is affected by flooding.

In the event of a major incident across Mid Sussex, the District Council will work with our local partners and deploy emergency resources to support the response, protect critical infrastructure and lead community recovery as per our Emergency and Severe Weather Plans.

Wind Storms

High winds may bring down trees or power lines and can cause serious structural damage to property.

Please contact to report a fallen tree on District Council land. If the tree poses an immediate threat to life or property, telephone 01444 477439 or 0845 6021035 (out of hours).

If a public highway is blocked by fallen trees, you can report it via the West Sussex County Council severe weather webpage

If you are affected by a power cut after a storm, the UK Power Networks website will provide the latest information as to when it is likely to be restored. 

Should any severe weather event result in the need to evacuate properties, the District Council will provide Rest Centres to support the community, as stated in our Emergency Plan.

Further Information

For further information contact the Emergency Planning Officer on 01444 477379 or email