residents and businesses in Duffield could be at risk of flooding from the River Ecclesbourne, says the Environment Agency.
A total of 870 homes and businesses which the agency says might be hit if the river were to burst its banks will receive a letter this week detailing a new flood warning system.
The river, which last flooded the area in December 1965, runs through the centre of Duffield before meeting the River Derwent near to Duffield Bank.
The new warning is in addition to the flood warning already offered for the Derwent in Duffield.
Allison Bradley from the agency, said: “More and more people are becoming aware of the danger of floods, but few realise that their property could be at risk. One in six homes in England is at risk of flooding, and climate change will increase flooding in future.
“If you receive a letter, read it carefully because it could make all the difference to help prepare for flooding.
“By registering to receive flood warnings you will have taken the first important step. It is also important to plan what to do before and during a flood.
“The letter contains a Personal Flood Plan which we hope you will fill in and keep safe. Don’t wait until a flood happens, you may not have time.”
The letter explains how to register to receive free flood warnings by calling Floodline Warnings Direct on 0845 988 1188 or via the Environment Agency’s website.
Once registered, and if a flood warning is issued, people will receive an automatic message via their choice of telephone, text message, email and/or fax.
Where possible, warnings are issued two hours prior to flooding to give people time to act to protect themselves and their property.
A spokeswoman for the agency said: “Over the past ten years, more than 250,000 additional households have benefited from investment in new or improved flood defences.
“But we cannot prevent all flooding, so people have a role to play in becoming fully prepared to help protect lives and property in the event of a flood.”
The agency is calling on people living and working in Duffield to find out if their home or business is at flood risk by entering their postcode at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodmidlands or by calling 0845 988 1188.
There is also advice on the website about how to flood-proof your home.
Business flood-plans should include checklists of procedures, lists of important contacts, evacuation contacts, protective materials and service shut-off points, and basic strategies for protecting property and preventing business disruption.