Flooding can have a devastating impact on homes and families. This was clearly shown by the terrible floods which hit so many parts of England and Wales in 2007 and again in Cumbria in 2009. According to Environment Agency figures – In all, around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties, are at risk of flooding. More than 5 million people live and work in 2.4 million properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, one million of which are also at risk of surface water flooding. A further 2.8 million properties are susceptible to surface water flooding alone. And for Wales: In all, around 357,000 properties, or about one in six buildings, are at risk of flooding. More than 357,000 people live in 220,000 properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, 97,000 of which are also at risk of surface water flooding. A further 137,000 properties are susceptible to surface water flooding alone. This gloomy scenario threatens to become even worse with the effects of climate change.
But it is not all doom and gloom! Home owners and businesses can put in protection measures that will help to minimise the damage and speed up the repair time. This is known as ‘Flood Resistance’ ~ this means protecting a property, using flood protection products or building materials aiming to prevent floodwater from entering a property and damaging its fabric and contents.
These measures will involve some expense but will pay for themselves in the long term and will represent time and money well spent and, hopefully, reduce the distress flooding causes. They are far superior to the humble and inefficient traditional sandbags which often only filter the water. This type of intervention is only applicable if the flood water is no more than 0.9 of a metre deep.
A second option is to make your home ‘flood resilient’ – Adapting a property to minimise the effect of floodwater, so that no permanent damage is caused and the structural integrity is maintained. Thus reducing the amount of time homeowners are out of their properties and the amount of money your insurance firm will have to pay out, helping you to be able to maintain your insurance cover. This website aims to give a comprehensive and interactive guide to flood protection, using products from trusted members of the Flood Protection Association.