Britain’s Flood Resilience Program

flood resilience programA lot of areas in UK are at high risk of being flooded. The series of floods that hit England and Whales these past few months is a testament to that fact. There are an estimated 5 million people and around 470,000 properties in England and Wales situated in flood risk areas. 

Floods have always been a major issue in Britain because they happen quite frequently, affects a large number of people, wrecks considerable amount of properties, and are very very costly.

June 2007 was one of the wettest months in the history of the UK and the above than average rainfall brought forth floods after floods, causing an estimated damage of £2billion. But the bad thing in this situation is the fact that things will get worse in time. With the climate changing quite drastically in recent years, it is expected that similar wet months are to be expected in the next forty years.

Having this foreboding scenario in their midst, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs or Defra launched a new scheme to protect or at least minimize the effects of households from the devastating effects of floods. The government offers individual households grants for improving their own flood defenses.

Improving the properties’ flood resilience can protect them from major damage in case of floods. Flood defenses include setting up flood guards, tiled concrete floors, resilient plaster, and raising electrical appliances on a higher grounds or platforms.

Installing one-way valves into drainage pipes is also useful. This way, the water and sewage is prevented from backing up into the house during floods. If you have any chipboard appliances or units, it is best to replace them with plastic or steel since later materials will not get soggy when they get wet. .

Reposition your electrical sockets higher up the walls. Use lime plaster or cement render to re-plaster the inner walls. These plaster are made from water resistant materials.

Speaking of water -resistant, the doors and window frames could be made from UPVC or good-quality hardwood to make them more resilient to water. Place barriers on your doors, windows and airbricks. A pump system can also be used. The pump would get the water from the first floor once the water starts to get in.

Defra split £500,000 between six areas as part of the pilot flood resilience program. The areas are Uckfield in East Sussex, Bleasby in Nottinghamshire, Morecambe in Lancashire, Halton in Leeds and Kirkby-in-Furness and Appleby in Cumbria.

Another problem with having areas and properties flooded all the time is when applying for home insurances. It has been reported that due to the massive damage of recent flooding in the UK, insurers are no longer willing to give homeowners low premiums on house insurance payments.

According to reports, it is quite possible that the value of houses affected and damaged by the floods would decrease by as much as 80%. This is due to the refusal of insurers to cover their houses because of possible future claims of the same nature.

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