The Environment Agency is launching the Flood Action Week campaign to encourage communities to prepare for flooding this winter. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs-sponsored body warns to ignore “the danger at your own peril”.
As nation states congregate at the COP27 in Egypt this week, eyes will be on the UK as countries are urged to plan and prepare for increasingly extreme events. This year alone, the UK experienced its highest ever recorded temperatures, with many regions still struggling with drought.
However, the Environment Agency is urging communities not to be complacent following the spell of dry weather and that unexpected flooding can occur at any time. The announcement comes off the back of research, showing that as many as 1.5 million households are yet to prepare.
Caroline Douglass, Executive Director of Flooding at the Environment Agency, said: “Climate change is happening now. We’re seeing more extreme weather - in this year alone with three named storms in a week, record-breaking temperatures and drought declared across large parts of the country.
“That is why it is vital that people take the necessary preparations as early as possible to prepare for the worst. Our recent investment programme has better protected 314,000 homes from flooding and we’re investing millions into keeping communities safe, but we can’t stop all flooding.
“The message is clear - households risk ignoring the danger of flooding at their own peril. Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and, most importantly, know what you need to do if flooding hits.”
This year’s Flood Action Week will run from November 7 – November 13 and is looking to provide new warning capability for 62,000 properties at risk of flooding by this winter. It brings the number of properties registered with the service to 1.6 million.
What to do if your home is flooded in the UK?
The Environment Agency has revealed that those at risk are encouraged to follow the advice to ‘Prepare. Act. Survive’, specifically:
- If there is an initial flood alert – prepare by packing medicines and insurance and other important documents and visit the flood warning information service
- If there is a subsequent confirmed flood warning – act by moving family, pets and belongings to safety. Turn off gas, water and electricity
- If there is a severe flood warning – survive immediate danger by following the advice of emergency services or calling 999 if needed