Weathering the Storm: Insights from 2023’s Flood Action Week

Flood Action Week, held from 20-26 November 2023, emphasises the urgent need for property owners, developers, and investors to proactively assess and manage flood risks. The Environment Agency’s campaign highlights several critical aspects:

  1. Awareness of Increasing Flood Risks: The Environment Agency urges communities to be aware of their flood risk, particularly in the context of climate change, which exacerbates the danger with wetter winters and hotter, drier summers. In England, about 5.5 million homes and businesses are at risk of flooding​​.
  2. Recent Weather Extremes as a Wake-Up Call: 2023 has seen record-breaking weather conditions, including Storm Babet, which resulted in the third-wettest independent three-day period in England and Wales since 1891. These events underline the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather, a trend expected to continue as the effects of climate change intensify​​​​.
  3. Economic and Psychological Impact of Flooding: The average cost of flood damage to a home is around £30,000, and the mental health impacts can persist for years. This substantial financial and emotional toll underscores the importance of being prepared​​.
  4. Preventive Measures and Flood Resilience: Proactive steps can significantly reduce the damage caused by flooding. For instance, research indicates that appropriate preparation can reduce the damage to homes and possessions by around 40%​​. Additionally, the Environment Agency, alongside Flood Re, promotes the ‘Be Flood Smart’ campaign, encouraging property adaptations for better resilience. Measures like installing self-closing airbricks, non-return valves, and flood-resistant doors can cut repair costs by up to 73% after a major flood​​.
  5. Government and Agency Initiatives: The Environment Agency works to enhance community resilience against extreme weather and rising sea levels. They have resources like high-volume pumps and flood defences, and operate a flood warning system that alerts millions of properties. Despite these efforts, the agency acknowledges that some flooding cannot always be prevented, making individual preparedness crucial​​.
  6. Actions for Individual Preparedness: Householders and businesses are encouraged to take specific actions like signing up for flood warnings, checking long-term flood risks, and planning for emergencies. These steps can help in managing the immediate impacts of flooding and in quick recovery post-event​​​​.

Flood Action Week serves as a vital reminder of the increasing risks of flooding due to climate change and the importance of proactive measures by individuals and communities. Understanding and preparing for these risks is essential for mitigating the impacts of flooding, both in terms of property damage and personal safety.

At Unda Consulting, our expertise in flood risk assessment and water management is crucial for property owners, developers, and investors, particularly in light of the increased flood risks highlighted during Flood Action Week. We provide specialised services in hydrological modelling and sustainable drainage solutions, offering effective strategies to mitigate flood impacts. Our approach is key in enhancing the resilience of properties against the growing challenges of climate change, ensuring that investments are both protected and sustainable.

Contact us to speak to one of our experienced consultants.

Weathering the Storm: Insights from 2023's Flood Action Week