Property Flood Resilience: Where next?
Flood Resilience Project Officer, Yorkshire Flood Resilience
During the duration of the Yorkshire Flood Resilience project alone, Yorkshire has endured three major floods, in November 2019, February 2020 and again in February 2021: a fitting indication of the need for property flood resilience. As our climate changes and the risk of extreme rainfall and sea level rise grows, so does the need to make our properties resilient to flooding.
Throughout my time on the Yorkshire Flood Resilience project, I’ve learned a great deal about the different approaches that can be used to make homes and businesses more flood-resilient, and I’ve heard first-hand from residents who have been affected by flooding, and from the authorities that manage these risks, about the difference that these measures can make.
The next step, and one in which the Yorkshire Flood Resilience project plays an important part, is to make these different approaches and their benefits more visible. Although awareness of PFR is growing, we still have further to go. Flood risk is no longer something we have to feel helpless about because there are so many options we could take to adapt and prepare. Making the discussion of these different approaches mainstream and boosting the visibility of positive examples could help more people to understand the options available, enabling more property owners and occupiers across Yorkshire and beyond to take responsibility for the flood risk to their homes and businesses.
We all have a part to play in mitigating the impacts of flooding. Awareness is growing of the importance of managing flood risk at a variety of scales, from the regional level to individual properties. Mitigating flood damage is no longer solely the role of large authorities and government bodies. Highlighting the roles and responsibilities that residents and business owners have in reducing the risk of flood damage to their properties, and supporting them to fulfil these, can prepare and empower them to face the risks posed by our changing climate. The effects of flooding in the future depend on the steps we take to prepare now.
The future of PFR looks positive. I’ve heard some inspiring stories of resilience from Yorkshire residents who have adapted their homes and now face the risk of flooding with confidence and reassurance that they can quickly clean up and carry on life as normal. I’ve seen some important advances in the sector, such as the launch of the Code of Practice for Property Flood Resilience, and a range of exciting new developments in flood resilience technologies. Although our flood risk is increasing, so too is the range of methods available for us to adapt to and live successfully alongside the rising waters.
Whilst a future of increasing flood risk may seem troublesome, my time at the Yorkshire Flood Resilience project has shown me the determination, resilience and ingenuity with which people are facing this challenge. My hope is that the growth of the PFR market, combined with national, local and community awareness efforts, will continue to highlight property flood resilience in the public eye, inspiring more people to take action to reduce the risk of flood damage to their homes and businesses.