FLOOD warnings from the Environment Agency could be coming through to residents via text message.

People on the O2 network, who live in areas at high risk of flooding across Essex, will receive an automated text message telling them they have been signed up, with a link to let them know what they should do if they receive a flood warning, and an option to opt out if they wish.

Graham Verrier, area flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, 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's 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 at floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk.”

About 375,000 people across England on the O2 mobile network are expected to be added to the flood warning service this December.

Residents in high risk areas have been automatically added to the warning service since 2010, beginning with BT landlines and then moving to provide warnings to mobile phones in 2014, with the EE network.

The Environment Agency plans to add customers on Vodafone and the Three network in due course.