Given the increase in recent years in Britain of floods and the misery it causes it seems wise to ask a relevant question. What is your flood risk?
There are flood maps which should enable you to better understand flood risk and take action to reduce the risk. These include:
- Prepare a flood plan
- Undertake property level protection measures
- Check the flood risk information made available by the Environmental Agency https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk
If you contact the Environmental Agency they will be able to tell you if you are covered by the Floodline Warnings Direct service. Sign up if you can – they provide a free service which sends you a direct message by telephone, mobile, email, text or fax, when flooding is expected and may affect your property. These heads up will give you time to put the flood plan into action which could save time, money and heartache.
If you are not covered by the Floodline Warnings Direct service there are other warning systems such as the Met Office which gives indirect warning of potential flooding. Warnings can be given up to several days in advance and flash warnings are issued 2-6 hours in advance. Click the link below for the website or phone Floodline 0345-988-1188.
All RTMs and RMCs should place a high degree of importance on having a robust risk assessment policy. This applies to flooding as much as it does to any other type of risk. If your assessment shows significant risk, creating a plan will be that much more wise. It may even be required by your insurers.
Local authorities are the lead authority for surface water flooding. Work with your local council when creating a plan to establish such things as finding a place to evacuate and whether it is best to evacuate or stay put. They may have an officer to assist.
As a back up the Environment Agency provides a guide for preparing a Flood Plan and offers a template to follow. Click below for their website.
A business guide titled ‘would your business stay afloat’ is also provided for those of you who are interested.
If you are an RTM or RMC with a riverside property such as a river, culvert, brook or mill stream click the following link for guidance:
If you are unfortunate and have suffered a flood and the risk continues it is recommended and may be required by the insurers to carry out flood mitigation works. A more detailed risk assessment will reveal the following:
- A list of all vulnerable doors, windows, air bricks
- A list of all wall ingress points like pipes, BT/cable entry points, boiler vents
- An inspection of the wall to see if it will withstand standing water for a period in excess of 24 hours and includes brickwork and mortar.
- A check on utility meters below a 900mm threshold.
- A check on the internal floor of the property. Obviously properties with raised floors, cellars and basements are more prone to flooding.
- A check is made on sewerage systems which is particularly important if the property has downstairs toilets and showers.
There are companies which carry out flood mitigation surveys
Some general advice is on the link below:
And the Blue Pages from the National Flood Forum has some useful advice:
Floods are not fun, but there are plenty of constructive things we can do to help ourselves and each other.