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Are you flood aware?

New campaign outlines simple steps for flood resilience after nearly three quarters of people say they are ‘not at all prepared’ for flooding

Recent research by local rivers charity Trent Rivers Trust shows that 70% of people would not know what to do during a flood event and only 4% have a plan for a flood event in place. This comes as Storm Babet triggered major floods and over 1,000 homes were damaged across England.

To address this issue, Trent Rivers Trust – as part of a project funded by Aviva in partnership with WWF (World Wild Fund For Nature) – is encouraging people in Leicestershire to take small, simple steps towards flood-proofing their homes and planning for a flood event, helping to increase flood resilience in local communities.

Are you flood aware?’ encourages people to think about what they can do to prepare for potential flooding and how they would act if flooding hit. As part of the initiative, Trent Rivers Trust is running a drop-in event in Forest Road in Loughborough on Wednesday 22nd November from 11:00-16:00. Staff from Trent Rivers Trust will join Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service near the Play Park to offer practical flood awareness advice.

Ruth Needham, Head of Landscape and Partnerships at Trent Rivers Trust says:
“We know it is hard to understand what the impact of flooding might be if you have never been flooded before. You might ask yourself – why prepare for something that I don’t need to worry about? But by being prepared, you can minimise the impact that flooding would have on your property or your community. This is called flood resilience.

“The first step is to understand the risk. When we talk to communities, people are often surprised to hear they’re more likely to be flooded than burgled! We advise people to check to see if they live in an area that is at risk of flooding. Anyone that lives close to areas predicted to be at flood risk is advised to subscribe to local flood alerts and come up with an action plan.

“We’ve brought together lots of advice on our webpage, trentriverstrust.org/floodaware, where you can find out more – and throughout Flood Awareness Week, we’ll be posting simple advice on our social media channels, to show that being prepared doesn’t have to be difficult.”

Zoe Heath, Community Resilience Coordinator for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland says:
“As a Local Resilience Forum we are delighted to see Trent Rivers Trust raising awareness around flooding in this way. We’ve recently seen the impact from Storm Babet on our local businesses and communities.

The time to get ourselves informed and prepared is before the threat of flooding and there’s so much advice, support and information out there if you know where to look. During a large-scale event our responding agencies are stretched and will prioritise immediate threats to life and the most vulnerable. There’s so much that we can do to help ourselves and the resources that Trent Rivers Trust have pulled together are a great starting point to increase our flood awareness and Community Resilience.”

The impact of flooding and what we can do
Most people surveyed by Trent Rivers Trust had not experienced flooding, but those affected often share the long-term effect it had on their finances and mental health, which is why increasing people’s resilience is so important. Taking steps and making a plan can mean less disruption and turmoil. According to research by insurer Aviva, taking simple steps to flood-proof a property could mean that people can remain in their homes after a flood, looking at far fewer repairs on the property and a much quicker restoration process. Taking steps to become flood aware can also reduce the carbon footprint of repairs, as far fewer resources are needed to restore a flooded property.

Beyond individual actions, large-scale measures can help to tackle flooding. Local councils and the Environment Agency work on flood risk management schemes, as well as working with others to ensure watercourses are maintained. They also work with specialists like Trent Rivers Trust on natural flood management – slowing the flow of water upstream of communities so that the peak flow is lowered. This means that communities have more time to prepare in the event of a flood. Together, all of these measures can help to minimise flood risk.

Ruth added: “At Trent Rivers Trust, our job is to create natural features like ponds and wetlands, helping to slow the flow and reduce flood peaks as well as benefitting nature. Through our partnership with Aviva and WWF, we are helping to restore the natural flow of rivers in Leicestershire, harnessing nature to reduce the impact of flooding in communities and demonstrating the benefits of natural flood management. We’re always happy to talk to local landowners and demonstrate the benefits that natural flood management features can provide.”.

Find out more about the actions you can take to become flood aware

If you’d like to support or get involved in the campaign -get in touch with vanessa@trentriverstrust.org

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