Prepared for flooding – benefits of community flood exercises

Once the imminent danger of a flood has subsided, and any damage has been rectified, it’s easy to understand how those affected might want to just put all the stress and anxiety caused behind them.

However, Property Flood Resilience (PFR) measures, such as door barriers, automatic airbricks and pumps, can be used to help reduce future flood risk and ensure that residents are prepared should another flood occur in the future. By taking steps to protect their property, residents can help themselves and their community by working together.

Community flood exercises

Personal Flood Plans, such as those freely available to download from the Environment Agency, make sure residents know what to do on an individual basis. On the other hand, Community Flood Plans aim to help prepare the community as a whole. A vital step in being prepared is through the use of community flood exercises.

Held on a regular basis (annually or bi-annually), community flood exercises help to focus people’s minds on the continued threat that flooding poses, as well as offering the following benefits:

  • An opportunity for residents to act out the community flood plan, as well as their own individual flood plans.
  • Ensure Flood Wardens are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Confirm all contact details for those involved are still valid through the activation of a phone tree. Exercises also provide an opportunity to add more contacts as required.
  • Links and involvement with the Environment Agency and/or Local Authority can test available flood warnings are functioning as expected.
  • Involving the community encourages buy-in, not only from those who have been flooded but also any residents that sit outside of the flood envelope and can lend a hand to those at risk.
  • Improve practical skills and confidence in deployment and use of property flood protection measures.
  • Remind/help residents to better understand their flood risk, including any new members of the community who might have moved into the area after the flood event.
  • Help identify vulnerable residents who might benefit from additional support to deploy their flood protection measures and safely evacuate the property.
  • Underline the importance of maintaining flood protection measures. Exercises are an opportunity to check measures are still in good working order. Particular attention should be paid to pumps, the condition of barrier seals and any fixings required. Any issues around storage and product maintenance can be highlighted too.

Wessex Property Flood Resilience

We have supported the Environment Agency (Wessex) in the delivery of their extensive Property Flood Resilience programme over the last five years. This programme has provided mitigation measures to over 20 communities throughout the Wessex area and has included extensive engagement activities, as well as community exercises.

The exercises are very well received. They help to bring communities together and are often linked with a social event, such as a community BBQ. Homeowners are provided with an opportunity to improve their confidence in deployment. Flood Wardens can also practice their role in a safe environment, ensuring that everyone is clear on their responsibilities.

Want to know more?

For further information on community flood exercises, please email our Lead for Flood Resilience, Phil Emonson, call 01392 904040 or visit our Flood Resilience web page.

You can also speak to the team at the Emergency Planning Society Annual Conference on 28 September at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5DY.

1 Comment

  • I really like what you said about how a community should be prepared for a flood. This would be helpful for my grandma to know about. It would also be useful if they had some flood barriers to help protect their neighborhood.

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