Flood Forum Responds to Guardian Article About Flood Warnings
National Flood Forum is extremely concerned about the news that EA flood warning system is set to change. Taking away the human interpretation from the warning system will put people’s lives, health and wellbeing at risk.
The flooding incident in January came at a time when some Environment Agency staff were taking part in industrial action, leaving only the automated warning system in place for out of hours warnings. The automated messages give advance warning and without human interpretation for the localised area can give messages which are not true to the on-ground situation.
Preparation for flooding is physically and mentally exhausting. It includes moving heavy furniture and making changes in the home, moving vulnerable relatives, making sure animals and pets are safe. Doing this when in fact the risk is actually much less, takes a heavy toll on people’s wellbeing and is unnecessarily traumatic and stressful. These human impacts need to be considered by the EA when making decisions about the flood warning system.