Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will chair a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee today in response to the flooding which has torn down power lines, closed roads and deluged homes.
The minister has stepped in to ensure that the Environment Agency (EA) and councils "are on the ground and offering all possible support to their communities" as bad weather continues to hit the UK.
Roads were closed yesterday as the first storms of 2014 brought further misery after torrential rain and gales left homes flooded and thousands without power over Christmas.
With further warnings of widespread flooding and more severe weather forecast for tomorrow, Mr Paterson will lead a Cabinet Office Briefing Room meeting in London this morning as agencies plan their response to the problem.
He said last night: "We will remain in touch with local councils in at-risk areas.
"With a number of flood alerts for the South East for tomorrow, including several areas which have previously been flooded, I urge everyone in affected areas to sign up to EA flood warnings and follow the advice issued."
It comes as emergency services continue to search for people missing in ferocious weather.
A 27-year-old man is feared dead at Loe Bar, near Porthleven in Cornwall after he was swept out to sea while celebrating the new year on the beach with friends. A woman also died in the surf in Croyde, north Devon on New Year's Eve.
The coastguard is also searching for a man who is believed to into the River Stour in Christchurch, Dorset.
Portland Coastguard led the search near Iford Bridge from 7pm yesterday and a rescue helicopter, inshore lifeboat and the Wick ferry were called to help the emergency services.
Jennet Chisholm, Portland Coastguard watch manager, said last night: "All the rescue units are working in very challenging conditions with rain and strong winds, but so far have been unable to find any sign of a missing man."
Visitors to coastal areas have been warned to stay out of the sea, while those inland have been braced for localised flooding. An annual fund-raising swim at Gosport in Hampshire was cancelled yesterday as high winds and heavy rains hit the south coast.
Roads have been closed, while around 300 properties in the south and east of England were last night without electricity.
UK Power Networks said today its engineers had restored all supplies in the Great Yarmouth area after a large tree was removed from an overhead line.
The A36 was closed northbound between the junctions with the A3090 before being reopened this morning and the A27 in Hampshire due to flooding, and is expected to reopen from 6am.
The Environment Agency had this morning issued almost 250 flood alerts and 60 more serious flood warnings, covering almost every region of England and Wales.
Craig Woolhouse, the Environment Agency's head of flood incident management, said: "Strong winds and large waves along the west and south coasts of England are forecast between Friday and Sunday, coinciding with high tides.
"Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities.
"Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.
"The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings."
Weather forecasters have also predicted strong winds, heavy rain and further flooding in the coming days.
There should be a brief respite today, but heavy rain is expected in western areas of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland tomorrow as a low pressure system moves in from the Atlantic.
Winds will gust to 50-60mph, the Met Office said, and a combination of lowering pressure and high tides, together with already high levels of ground saturation, bring the risk of flooding.