A FLOOD victim who has fortified his house against the elements has urged others to make use of a new website designed to protect those at risk.

Earlier this week Oxfordshire County Council launched an online 'flood toolkit' for residents to find out if they were at risk and access information on how to protect their homes.

Earl Street resident Nick Hills, whose house has been flooded several times in recent years, has taken drastic measures to prevent more damage to his ground floor and welcomed the advice service.

The 67-year-old said: "It's very useful, the more information that people can access to become more aware of flood risk and protect their homes can only be a good thing.

"It's no good waiting until the water is coming through your door - you need to be prepared and it's worth having a look at the toolkit."

The website allows people to access specific information about risk to their house by entering their postcode and also gives advice such as raising kitchen units on legs, putting flood barriers in front of garages and fitting tiled floors.

Mr Hills, whose ground floor was flooded in 2000, 2003 and 2007, said such measures may be essential.

He said: "I would urge people to think about flood resilience actually - I have put a lot of measures in over the years, for example I now have a solid floor when I used to have a wooden floor which was completely written off by flooding.

"I have a stone floor with rugs now instead.

"I don't keep any important documents or belongings on the ground floor anymore and I have installed flood gates in my garden."

He added: "I don't have any plaster below one metre.

"My neighbours on Earl Street have done similar things and the website points out these among other things."

The toolkit - costing £30,000 to set up and funded through contributions from all district councils apart from Cherwell District Council - was launched on Wednesday in time for winter.

It was originally developed by Northamptonshire County Council and the template has now been used for Oxfordshire.

The council's deputy leader Rodney Rose said: "It's no use leaving it until the water is around your ankles - we want people to use the toolkit and be prepared in the event of flooding.

"We have already had the odd threat of flooding and quite a lot of rain this winter.

"If we can get people better informed we can be better protected against flooding."

The website also provides information for Riparian Owners - residents who have watercourses on their land and are therefore responsible for its upkeep - as well as guidance for developers.

To find out what flood risks there are to your property go to oxfordshirefloodtoolkit.com