Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Protecting yourself and your property from flooding

According to the Environment Agency, one in six homes in the UK is now at risk of flooding. Work is therefore under way to evaluate where to focus resources in order to provide effective protection.

Flood Warnings & Forecasts

Improvements to the EA flood warning service were announced at the end of 2010 and these include:
  • New flood icons and messages which are easier to understand, provide more local information and give clearer guidance about what people need to do
  • Locally specific information such as the time when flooding is expected, tide heights and what locations will be affected
  • A three day forecast in relation to flood risk from rivers, the sea and heavy rain which could lead to surface water flooding
  • Flood warning updates via RSS feeds (find out more at
  • The Flood Protection Grant Scheme
DEFRA has recently completed a review of the Flood Protection Grant Scheme. The review was based on a pilot project conducted in Appleby, Cumbria, where local householders and businesses were offered free flood risk reduction surveys. They were also offered grants toward the cost of putting protective measures in place.

The results of the scheme showed that:
  • Given information and support, householders and businesses were capable of and keen to manage their own flood protection measures
  • General levels of anxiety about flooding were reduced
  • The project acted as a catalyst for local collective action
  • Local leaders were a vital part of the emergency response network
These findings suggest a growing awareness of flood risk. They also show that effective public partnerships can empower a community to take ownership of their flood risk.

Exercise Watermark
In March 2011, DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government will conduct a large-scale emergency flooding exercise across England and Wales. The exercise, commissioned by the Environment Agency, is designed to test responses to severe, wide-area flooding. It will also test the effectiveness of measures recommended in Sir Michael Pitt’s review of the summer 2007 floods.

Exercise Watermark will use scenarios based on severe weather conditions including flooding from the sea, rivers, surface water and reservoirs. Participants will include central government departments, Local Authorities, the Ministry of Defence and many community-based groups.

Find out how you can get involved and about events near you at

The FIND flooding data package offers a comprehensive set of tools to help you evaluate flood risk to your development or property. Further details can be found at

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