Building flood resilience across the country - Communities Prepared
Senior Project Officer, Communities Prepared
Tell us more about Communities Prepared.
We are a Lottery funded national community resilience programme run by Groundwork South with partners including the Environment Agency. Through training, we equip community emergency volunteers and flood wardens nationwide with the knowledge and confidence to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a range of emergencies - from flooding and severe weather incidents to public health emergencies. Alongside this, we provide train the trainer support to local and national organisations, enabling them to support their staff and volunteers.
Why do you think it’s important for communities to get involved in flood resilience?
As the frequency and severity of extreme weather is predicted to increase in line with our changing climate, supporting people and their communities to build their flood resilience is a priority. Local people play a vital role in supporting their communities through emergencies. They are the eyes and ears on the ground, assisting the Environment Agency (EA) and other responders in managing the impact of flooding. This coordinated approach ultimately leads to a more efficient response and faster recovery. As the demand on public services continues to increase along with our flood risk, volunteers will be looked to more than ever to support themselves and their communities.
What are the common hurdles to people getting involved in flood resilience in their community? How does Communities Prepared help to bridge these barriers?
Common barriers can include a lack of confidence or knowledge. Our training follows a modular approach that provides volunteers with information and practical tips, tailored to their local area and community. The training starts with the foundations of emergency response before leading into flooding and other issue-specific incidents, helping volunteers build their knowledge and skills. We deliver our training webinars in partnership with local partners, including the EA’s Flood Resilience Teams, helping to develop these working relationships.
How can people get involved to support flood resilience in their community?
Identifying your local flood warden or community emergency volunteer group is a great first step. If there’s an active group, why not get in touch to find out more and how you could get involved? Often groups have opportunities where you can lend your professional skills or interests, such as marketing, design and fundraising. You can check the map on the Communities Prepared hub to find your local group. If there are no groups in your area and you would like to start one, we can help you.
What do you think could encourage people to engage with property flood resilience?
We are all vulnerable to flood risk; this is something that will affect us all as weather patterns intensify. Helping spread this message through training and awareness campaigns will help people to see property flood resilience as one of the standard protective measures we put in place to safeguard ourselves, our homes and businesses. Additionally, information and transparency around PFR products and personal case studies on their impact, will encourage uptake.
Get in touch
Register as a member of the Communities Prepared hub for free to access our full range of training resources: https://www.communitiesprepared.org.uk/register/ or get in touch via email or social media.