No time for complacency: 1.5 million households at risk of flooding

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No time for complacency: 1.5 million households at risk of flooding
Credit: UK Government

No time for complacency: nearly 1.5 million households are at risk of flooding in the UK.

The Met Office has issued warnings that this winter will be a wet one. According to the Environment Agency: “Nearly two in three households at risk of flooding don’t believe it will happen to them”.

People in the UK are being encouraged to get together with family and friends who have already protected their properties against possible flooding and prepare for the possibility themselves.

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Only 30 per cent of people have not prepared for potential flooding according to the new research which has just been released. However, up to 1.5 million households are still at risk and have not prepared.

According to the UK government: “The new analysis has been released at the start of Flood Action Week (22–28 November 2021), when the Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk online, sign up for flood warnings and, if they are at risk, know what to do if flooding hits.”

Caroline Douglass, Executive Director of Flooding at the Environment Agency, commented: “Now is the time for us all to be vigilant, not complacent, about flooding.


“Our previous investment programme protected 314,000 properties from flooding. Our flood defences have helped to protect nearly 200,000 properties during flooding incidents since 2019, and we’re investing millions into building new schemes and making repairs to keep communities safe.

“Yet we can’t prevent all flooding – climate change is only increasing that risk – and today’s figures show that while some people are prepared, many are not.

“It’s vitally important for the public to go online and check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and know what to do if flooding hits.”


Will Lang is the Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office. He explained: “Winters in the UK usually includes a wide variety of weather and this winter looks to be no exception. However, when looking at the big global drivers that impact weather in the UK there are indications this winter could be wetter than normal.

“Although these wetter conditions are most likely in January and February next year, details will become clearer nearer the time and information can be found on the forecast pages of our website.”

The AA has warned drivers to be careful when driving in floodwater. Tony Rich, from The AA stated: “Roads can quickly become impassable during very heavy rainfall, so you should allow plenty of time for journeys. It’s also important to leave twice as much space between you and the car in front to allow for greater stopping distances.

“Drivers should take extra care where roads dip, for example under bridges, as these areas are more likely to flood.

“Flood water can be deceptively deep, and it doesn’t take much for water to get sucked into your engine. It can also mask other hazards in the road, such as displaced manhole covers, so if in doubt turn around and find another route.”


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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