Residents who are at risk of flooding are being signed up to a new warning system.
People on the O2 network who live in areas at high risk of flooding may be getting a text message from the Environment Agency letting them know they have been automatically registered for free flood warnings.
The message also includes a link to let them know what they should do if they receive a flood warning, and the option to opt out.
The roll-out is happening right across the North East, with one area being North Shields. Once registered, people will receive a message if a flood warning is issued for their area in the future – giving them vital time to prepare.
Leila Huntington, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Being registered for flood warnings can give people advance notice of flooding and some crucial time to prepare.
“If you get the text, it is because you live in an area at risk of flooding, so we would urge people to stay registered to the service and learn what to do if you receive a warning by viewing a free flood guide online at https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/.”
Throughout December, the Environment Agency will be registering around 375,000 people on the O2 network.
It has been automatically adding those who live in high flood risk areas to the flood warning service since 2010, beginning with BT landlines and then moving to provide warnings to mobile phones in 2014, with the EE network.
The agency plans to add customers on Vodafone and the Three network in due course.
Customers who are not on the O2 network can still receive free flood warnings – visit https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/ to check if your home is at risk of flooding and sign up for free flood warnings.