Following the recent floor warnings on the Island, we thought this press release from Andrew Turner might be of interest to many of you. Ed
Following the floods that swept across the country last summer, your MP, Andrew Turner, is encouraging residents to act now to protect themselves from the threat of flooding.
However, it is not just those who live in the floodplain that need to be prepared. Two-thirds of the properties that flooded last year were damaged because drains and sewers were overwhelmed.
The MP for the Isle of Wight met with experts from the Environment Agency at the House of Commons on Tuesday 22 January who outlined plans to manage flood risk now and in the future, as well as giving practical tips on how to help constituents protect their homes.
As well as useful information on the free Floodline Warnings Direct service, the Environment Agency recommends residents have a flood plan, including:
* Check your insurance cover
* Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
* Prepare a flood kit of essential items (including a torch, a wind-up/battery radio, first aid kit)
* Know who to contact and how
* Think about what you can move now – Don’t wait for a flood to move personal items of value to safety
* Think about what you would move to safety during a flood
Andrew Turner MP said:
“Flooding is a threat to many Island homes and it is vital that we all listen to the Environment Agency’s advice on protecting ourselves and our homes. Signing up to Floodline will give you the best possible warning of a flood.
“Making a flood plan and getting a flood kit together takes a few moments, but can make an enormous difference if there is a flood. Thinking ahead is a sensible precaution and could mean you save irreplaceable family mementos from destruction.”
Making Space for Water
The Environment Agency also took the opportunity to discuss current projects that are managing flood risk, while improving the environment for both people and wildlife.
This approach is part of a new programme called Making Space for Water, setting the policy direction for the next 20 years. The aim of this new strategy is:
“¢ To reduce the threat to people and their property
“¢ To deliver the greatest environmental, social and economic benefit
“¢ To secure efficient and reliable funding mechanisms that deliver the levels of investment required to achieve the vision of this strategy.
Regional director Howard Davidson said: “The support of Andrew Turner MP is vital in managing flood risk now and in tackling the increased challenges in the future, especially with the impacts of climate change.
“Our MP’s can help encourage residents to sign-up to Floodline and support policy particularly in the planning stages of new development. We need to balance the need for new homes against the risk of building in the floodplain. Where possible we need to allow the natural floodplain to do what it does naturally. This will allow us to create safe new communities without increasing the flood risk to established developments.”
“I urge everyone to check if they are at risk by calling Floodline, or visiting our website, but with the risks of surface water flooding made so apparent last summer, everyone should take a moment to consider making a flood plan.”
The threat of surface water flooding
The floods last summer showed that it is no longer just the rivers that threaten to overtop and rush into our homes, but drains unable to cope during heavy rain can cause surface water flooding.
There is complexity of who is responsible for surface water flooding. We need a clear coordinating framework to deal with flood risk from drains and sewers, which could see the Environment Agency take on a strategic overview role in England, and the different organisations involved in surface water flooding – such as local government, water companies and Highways Agency – working together at a local level.
The Environment Agency has recommended that it be given a strategic overview so that all forms of flooding are dealt with by a single national agency. This was highlighted by Sir Michael Pitt in his interim report into the Summer floods.