How and why we make a flood plan
Ed Barsley, founder of The Environmental Design Studio, speaks about the advantages of having a flood plan in place.
It’s 3am and there’s a knock at the door. A local flood warden informs you that flooding is imminent and that the homes on your street may need to be evacuated. What happens next will depend (in part) on your levels of preparedness and having a ‘Homeowner Flood Plan’ to turn to at this time can be vitally important.
So, what would this plan include? Well, broadly speaking it should be a checklist of both essential equipment and actions to take before the flood. It should also list key persons/organisations that you’d need to contact and their related phone/reference numbers.
On the CHECK LIST you’d have noted down;
- The location of your utilities/service control points for Electricity, Water and Gas as well as how these can be switched ON/OFF
- A list of Property Flood Resilience measures
- Which measures are in place and which will need to be fitted
- Where they’re kept
- How they’re installed
- Who can help fit these (name, contact number)
- Details about your Flood Kit / Grab Bag
- What items it contains (e.g. torch, first aid kit, phone + charger, insurance documents)
- Where the kit is kept
On the CONTACT LIST you’d have noted down details on your;
- Name and Address
- Next of Kin
- Utility/Service Provider
- Insurers Name, Phone Number and the Policy Number
- Local Council & Flood Wardens
- Medication and Doctors Information:
- Pet Micro Chip Numbers
- Environment Agency Flood Line
The actual process of writing the plan may also shed light on several key questions. Does your insurance cover flooding? Are you signed up for flood warnings in your area? Do you know where the nearest rest centre would be to go to in the event of a flood and what facilities it has? It may also make you aware that the property itself needs to be made more flood resilient. In that situation, you’d want to engage with a suitable professional (such as a surveyor) that will be able to take you through the process set out in the Code of Practice for Property Flood Resilience (PFR). You’ll then have a PFR strategy that’s tailored to suit the flood risk context, property setup and your own specific preferences and requirements.
Without a flood plan to turn to (and access to the details it contains), a flood response may end up being largely reactive. You grab what you can, when you can and the consequences could well be dire. Furthermore, if you didn’t happen to be at home, the flood plan itself can be a vital guide for others to follow.
So, if you are in an area that’s at risk of flooding, take 5-10 minutes and get this information down, print out a copy and have it stored digitally in a way that’s quick and easy to access. It won’t take a long time but collating this information well in advance of a flood event could prove invaluable and help you gain more control over a situation that can happen at any time of day, night or year.