04 February 2014
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Floodline was established by the Environment Agency (EA) for England and Wales in 1999 and Scotland joined the service in 2001.
At the time the 0845 numbers were the most resilient nationwide option as they did not rely on a single telephone exchange. In recent years telecoms providers have also changed customer call packages available, with the result that most people pay nothing to call Floodline from a landline as 0845 numbers are part of their call allowance. The cost of calls from mobiles is determined by the phone service provider.
However, over the last two years, Ofcom, the communication regulator, has been undertaking a review of non geographic numbering which includes the use of 0845 numbers. This supported an existing desire by both agencies to provide the best access possible for customers, with the EA and SEPA already preparing for the introduction of a new 0345 Floodline number.
Yesterday (Monday 3 February) the EA implemented and publicised the new number with immediate effect but customers can still continue to access Floodline through their usual, preferred channel and it’s worth noting the following:
Floodline itself is free; receiving notification of Flood Alerts and Warnings is free but callers will be subject to whatever standard package charges they have on their mobile or landline service providers.
Callers can use both the 0345 9881188 and 0845 9881188 numbers to contact the Floodline Service. Type Talk numbers are: 0345 602 6340 and 0845 602 6340 (for customers who have hearing loss).
The cost of calling Floodline varies depending on the caller’s service provider and call package, and whether a landline or mobile is used. It is the caller’s responsibility to check their service providers’ tariff. Neither SEPA nor the EA receives income from charges levied by call service providers.
Floodline partners are now getting ready to make 0345 the primary number for Floodline service with 0845 running alongside it.
Free flood warning messages are available from our Floodline direct warning service which sends local flood warning information via phone or text message. Over 18,000 people in Scotland are already signed up to the service, you can register online now.
Live Flood Warnings & Alerts for Scotland are available online and are updated 24/7.
Other flooding information can be found on our website.
Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.
Telecommunications watchdog Ofcom has encouraged all public bodies to use 03 numbers, which are charged at the same rate as calls to 01 or 02 "geographical" numbers and must be included within "free call" bundles in phone packages. Calls to 03 numbers cost between 0p-10p per minute from landlines and 10p-40p from mobiles, though most mobile users will pay at the lower end of this range. More information can be found on Ofcom's website.