Just six months on from last summer's devastating floods, families are once again bracing themselves for more potential flooding. We share your fears for the safety of people's homes and their loved ones.

Our volunteers are on stand-by throughout Gloucestershire and the rest of the UK, ready to assist those in need. However, while the emergency services and other agencies will undoubtedly do all they can to protect people, there are also practical steps individuals can take to avoid risk and keep themselves safe.

Packing essential items such as medication and clothing, emptying freezers and refrigerators, steering clear of floodwater, and refraining from the use of electrical appliances are all simple procedures that can do a lot to prevent unnecessary harm and suffering. Further tips on staying safe can be found at www.redcross.org.uk As the UK's largest voluntary emergency response organisation, the British Red Cross is on-hand to provide practical and emotional support for those affected, and ensure those at risk know what to do when disaster strikes.

Colleen Cleevely Operations Director British Red Cross 01452 726 670