Under plans announced by ministers, the money will be available for homes in England which are particularly vulnerable to floods but are not protected by traditional community level defences.

The funding will be offered alongside any help already provided by local authorities, the insurance industry and households themselves.

The department has launched a consultation asking for views on how the cash can best be spent.

Suggestions include providing a free home flood survey and offering grants to cover some of the costs of protection measures.

Environment minister Phil Woolas said: “Traditional community level defences are not a viable answer to flooding in all areas, but individual householders can make a big difference themselves by protecting their properties.

“Government wants to support people in making relatively simple changes which can nevertheless have a huge impact on a property’s resilience.”

Research has shown that measures such as door-boards, waterproof walls and floors and raised electrics can cut the financial impact of flooding by up to 80% and halve the amount of time it takes to dry out and repair a property.

Floods recovery minister John Healey added; “Last summer’s floods were the worst for a generation, affecting 48,000 homes and prompting more than 180,000 insurance claims.

“While councils and insurers continue working to get people back home as quickly as possible, and £133m Government funding has been made available to communities to help them get back on their feet, the floods showed that individuals can also do their bit to minimise flooding risk and damage.”

Defra also published an outline of a proposed new National Flood Emergency Framework, following the recommendation of the Pitt Review earlier this year.

Kate Martin

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