Increased Risk of Winter Flooding Warns Environment Agency

Flooded slideThe Environment Agency has issued a warning of an increased likelihood of flooding this winter and is urging homeowners to get prepared.

Following a particularly wet October the Environment Agency and the Met Office are predicting a greater risk of flooding from rivers, the sea and surface water.

The weather throughout the rest of November will be dominated by a strong westerly jet stream dragging bands of rain across the west and southwest.

Strong winds and high tides will conspire to increase the flood risk and homeowners and business owners are being advised to draw-up a flood plan now.

The flood warning comes with a reminder that one in six properties in England is at risk of flooding and that last year 7,000 properties were flooded in England.

David Rooke of the Environment Agency said “Every £1 spent on protecting communities from flooding saves £8 in repairing damage. Over the last three years we have protected an additional 182,000 homes and businesses with new flood defence schemes.

“The most important thing that we can all do to protect ourselves from the devastation that flooding can cause is to be prepared” concludes Mr Rooke.

The Environment Agency operates a free flood warning service which keeps subscribers up-to-date with automated phone and text messages, email alerts or Facebook updates. It’s an invaluable service which currently boasts 1.2 million subscribers across England.

As the old proverb says to be forewarned is to be forearmed, but you’ll also need to be prepared. The following tips are designed to reduce the damage to your property and possessions caused by flooding:

  • Double check your home insurance policy to make sure that you are covered against flood risk
  • Use sandbags to block the most likely points where floodwater might enter
  • Move your valuables upstairs and move your car onto higher ground
  • Pack important documents in a waterproof container and make sure you have the following phone numbers: insurance provider, utility suppliers, friends and family
  • Pack an emergency flood pack including the following: portable radio, torch, mobile phone, tins of food, bottled water, first aid kit, waterproof clothing and blankets
  • If your property is about to flood switch off the gas, water and electricity

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