STORM-hit householders and businesses will be able to claim thousands of pounds following Storms Dennis and Ciara, the Government has announced.

People whose homes were flood-hit can apply for up to £500 in hardship payments and 100 per cent council tax relief, plus up to £5,000 towards resilience measures such as flood gates or raising electrics above ground level.

Small to medium-sized businesses which have suffered "severe, uninsurable losses" can seek business recovery grants up to £2,500, as well as 100 per cent business rates relief and up to £5,000 towards flood resilience.

The major package of help announced by local government secretary Robert Jenrick is to be delivered by local councils to help families and businesses recover.

The Government has also announced that its Flood Recovery Taskforce is meeting this week to provide individual areas with "bespoke support and guidance".

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses, and I recognise how destabilising this can be.

“This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“I’d like to thank the emergency services and key agencies on the ground for their dedication and tireless work to help everyone affected in extremely challenging circumstances.”

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “We’ve once again seen the devastating effects of floods on households and communities across the country. I want to thank our Environment Agency teams working on the ground around the clock with partners to deal with the ongoing impacts.

“We know climate change means extreme weather events like this are more likely, and are already investing £2.6 billion in flood defences by 2021, with more than 600 projects already protecting 200,000 properties. This crucial funding will help people to make their homes more resilient and better protected if flooding happens again.”

Business secretary Alok Sharma added: "We are determined to help businesses impacted by Storms Ciara and Dennis.

“Today’s funding will offer vital support to small companies to get up and running, while also helping ensure greater protection against future flooding events.”

The Government's package of help will apply to district councils with 25 or more flooded households as a result of the two recent storms, Ciara and Dennis.

The Government has also activated the emergency Bellwin scheme for Cumbria and Lancashire, which means local councils dealing with flooding can apply to recoup 100 per cent of their costs - above a threshold - for measures like rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

Meanwhile, with many flood warning and alerts in place this week, the Environment Agency is urging people to check the latest safety advice , with further heavy rain expected to fall on areas already affected by wet weather.

More than 900 Environment Agency staff are on the ground operating flood defences and temporary pumps, clearing debris from rivers, inspecting flood defences and supporting affected communities. Teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country, and flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis, said the Government.

To check your flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, see, call Floodline on 0345-9881188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter.