Forecasters have predicted that a number of deep Atlantic low pressure systems are on their way to the UK and are set to cause the wettest winter in 30 years. Towns and remote parts of the country are only just recovering from earlier floods that caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. Those living in flood risk areas are understandably going to be worried about what this means for their home.
Government Cuts Accused of Increasing the Risk
It was reported earlier in November that the risk of flooding in England has increased after government cuts in funding. The National Audit Office report showed that spending on flood defence has been cut by 10%. This has meant that half of the UKs flood defences are now undergoing minimum maintenance. In order to be most effective, it is essential that flood defences are regularly maintained.
After the flooding crisis last winter, David Cameron provided £270 million emergency funding. He also claimed the government was now spending more than ever before under his guidance. Statistics show a different story however, with flood defence spending falling by 6% over the five year period of the coalition government.
It is estimated that there are currently five million homes throughout the UK that are at risk of flooding.
The Get Ready for Winter Initiative
Those who are worried about the wet winter weather can take note of the governments Get Ready for Winter initiative. The MET Office hosts the initiative and it provides useful advice on what those living in a flood-risk area can do to protect their property.
An emergency kit is highly recommended and it should include items such as:
- First aid kit
- Emergency contact numbers
- Insurance policy copy
- Important documents in a sealed container
Stocking up on sandbags as early as possible will also help. When the flood risk is high, there will be a significant increase in demand. This means you may struggle to get the sandbags you need if you leave it too late. You can find empty sandbags along with sand to fill them at a builder’s merchant. They can be used to place on top of sinks and toilets. This helps to protect against backflow. It is also a good idea to take as many photographs of your home as possible before a flood. This will help you when it comes to making an insurance claim. You should check with your insurer that flood damage is actually covered. It doesn’t always come as standard with home policies so you may need to take out additional cover. It is worth noting flood insurance might be higher in flood risk areas.
Floods can cause a lot of devastation. Not only do they cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, but they also leave families homeless. Damage can be reduced if you are prepared for what is to come. Following the tips above and planning ahead will help you to be ready in case the worst does happen. It also helps to know what to do after a flood. There are vital safety tips you will need to follow.
Fraser Ruthven is the Growth and Strategy Manager for London’s leading drainage company – London Drainage Facilities. Fraser thinks it is important for the UK to start preparing for the winter floods that destroy homes every year.