Don’t get caught out – flooding can happen to you.

Recent polling suggests nearly two in three households at risk from flooding do not believe their homes could flood. But just because flooding hasn’t happened to you in the past, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.

In England there are over 5 million properties at risk of flooding. The research shows that people who haven’t taken action to prepare for flooding are in the clear minority (30%), but this still means that as many as 1.5 million households who are at risk are yet to prepare. With climate change already causing more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise, we all need to know what to do, should the worst happen.

According to the Environment Agency, the average cost of flooding to a home is around £30,000. Flooding also brings a significant risk to life. The mental health impacts of flooding can last for 2 years or more after flooding has happened. Depression, anxiety and PTSD can affect up to a third of people who have been flooded.

But, crucially, taking steps to prepare for flooding, and knowing what to do in a flood can significantly reduce the damages to a home and possessions (by around 40%), reduce risk to life, and reduce the likelihood of suffering from mental health impacts in the future. 

The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to prepare for flooding, which could help keep you and your family safe, and save you thousands of pounds in damages and disruption. The below infographic sets out the steps you can take.

For more information and to find out if you are at risk, visit the how to plan ahead for flooding page on GOV.UK to get prepared.

Jeff Smith MP said: “We’re seeing an increase in flood alerts in south Manchester around the River Mersey – it’s one of the more direct and worrying results of the climate crisis.”

“But there are actions that can be to protect homes and prepare for a worst case scenario and I’d really encourage people to make sure they’re prepared for any future flooding, particularly in the Didsbury and Chorlton areas.” 

“In the meantime, I’m talking to the Environment Agency about better infrastructure to deal with heavy rainfall and flood waters, and I’m pleased we will see more investment locally.”

Caroline Douglass, Executive Director Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said, “Climate change is happening now. We’re seeing more extreme weather – in this year alone with three named storms in a week, record-breaking temperatures and drought declared across large parts of the country. 

“That is why it is vital that people take the necessary preparations as early as possible to prepare for the worst. Our recent investment programme has better protected 314,000 homes from flooding and we’re investing millions into keeping communities safe, but we can’t stop all flooding.  

“The message is clear – households risk ignoring the danger of flooding at their own peril. Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and, most importantly, know what you need to do if flooding hits.” 

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