At Risk of Flooding?
5.2 million people in England and Wales are deemed to be at risk of flooding. Less than 40% of those at significant risk of flooding are aware of their risk and the impact of flooding on people’s lives, as measured by insurance claims, has increased significantly in Britain and across the world.
So how do I find out if I am at risk?
In December 2013, the Environment Agency launched its new and updated flood risk maps, available to view to the public. You can see if you have been identified as being at flood risk from rivers and the sea, surface water and/or reservoir flooding. To view your risk, visit the Environment Agency’s website. The Environment Agency’s What’s in My Back Yard website also provides information on which areas are vulnerable to river and coastal flooding, as well as a lot of other useful information.
However, the majority of insurance claims are now from surface water flooding. Local authorities are currently preparing Intermediate Surface Water Flood Risk Management Maps and these are likely to become available over the next couple of years. In the meantime, you may be aware of previous flooding in your area or there may be community concerns, a few local authorities also provide a warning service.
Flooding can come from a variety of sources that may not be obvious, or nearby, such as:
- Rivers (fluvial)
- The sea
- Surface water (pluvial) run-off from other areas
- Blocked or overloaded drains and waste water pipes
- Burst pipes
- Ditches and drainage channels
What can I do if I am at risk of flooding?
In the past managing flood risk was all about building flood barriers and pumps. Whilst these are still important, we now know that there is a lot more that can be done to manage flood risk by different organisations, individuals and communities. The National Flood Forum’s Ready for Flooding booklet provides an introduction to what you can do to help yourself.
Importantly, you can sign up for the Environment Agency’s Floodline service to receive advance warning of river and coastal flood risk. You can receive free flood messages for your area direct to your phone, mobile, email, SMS text or fax by calling 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the Floodline website.