Improving property flood resilience across Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Flood Resilience Pathfinder project looked at how future Property Flood Resilience (PFR) schemes across Yorkshire could be made more effective. Shelley Evans explores how we engaged with communities at risk of flooding to better understand the effectiveness of existing PFR measures.

Written by Shelley Evans | Northern Flood Resilience Hub Lead

What did we do?

Community engagement

We engaged with local authorities from across Yorkshire where Property Flood Resilience (PFR) schemes had been delivered to communities or where Defra Recovery Grants had been available. This led to residents being invited to schedule in a PFR effectiveness survey with us.

PFR effectiveness surveys

When planning the PFR effectiveness surveys we were flexible in our approach and offered residents a choice of engagement options – either an online questionnaire or an on-site survey. 

Online questionnaire

Our online questionnaire was sent to residents across Yorkshire and was designed to give us a better understanding of a property’s flood history and information about any existing PFR products that had been installed. The questionnaire also gave residents the opportunity to assess how confident they were in using their PFR measures, whether the measures had been deployed previously and if they had performed effectively in a subsequent flood event. 

Onsite surveys

We visited various properties across Leeds and Bradford to see products that had previously been installed. Many of the residents we met with were positive about their products, commenting how they felt more prepared for future flood events.

Through the onsite surveys we were able to establish that some residents were receiving regular maintenance visits to make sure their products remained effective.

In contrast, we also learnt that some residents had struggled to have their products checked and properly maintained. We identified various examples of products not being maintained or stored correctly. Increasing the likelihood that they would not perform as intended during a future flood event.

The outcome

The data collected from the effectiveness surveys were added to our bespoke ‘PFR Assured’ database. With each property allocated an assurance rating of Red, Amber or Green. The final scoring was completed by the survey team according to their own interpretation of the data available. 

Assurance ratings explained

The following is a description of each category of the assurance rating system.

  1. Red – sub-standard or defective PFR installation and/or measures / serious maintenance requirements
  2. Amber – some components of PFR package missing or maintenance required/ not signed up to EA flood warning service/ no emergency plan in place
  3. Green – full suite of correctly used maintained & stored products/ signed up to EA flood warning service/emergency plan in place

These early indications highlight the importance of improved maintenance and in some instances installation standards. We hope that the data collected through PFR Assured will provide Bradford and Leeds City councils with an overview of the current condition and levels of preparedness of the PFR measures provided. This will help to form an evidence base in support of future schemes.

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Want to know more?

For more information about independent property flood risk surveys and the Yorkshire Flood Resilience Pathfinder please email Shelley Evans.


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