By Daniel Machin
Flooding could be on the cards across much of England over the coming months as wet and windy weather sets in.
The Environment Agency is warning households to prepare for the worst, especially those situated on low-lying land near the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.
A combination of possible gale force winds, large waves and a moderate coastal surge could lead to localised flooding in the area within the next few days.
Officials claim there is an "increased likelihood" of flooding this winter, particularly in the west of the country.
Families told to be prepared
David Rooke, director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, is urging families to prepare for flooding before it is too late.
"The most important thing that we can all do to protect ourselves from the devastation that flooding can cause is to be prepared - by checking our flood risk on the Environment Agency's website, signing up to free flood warnings and making a personal flood plan," he said.
"Every £1 spent on protecting communities from flooding saves £8 in repairing damage."
Increased risk of floods
The wet weather throughout October has made the ground very wet, making further rainfall in the build-up to Christmas and beyond more likely to lead to flooding.
A strong westerly jet stream is expected to "dominate" through much of November bringing bands of rain, while strong winds could increase the risk of flooding, as leaves and branches block drains and rivers.
Families and businesses should therefore make a point of checking their flood risk by either logging onto the Environment Agency's website, calling 0845 988 1188 or by following @EnvAgency on social networking site Twitter.
It also offers a free flood warning service which sends an automated telephone message, text message, email or alert to Facebook profiles.