New guide aims to build flood resilience

With the first anniversary of the Christmas 2015 floods approaching, the Know Your Flood Risk campaign has launched a new edition of its free Homeowners’ Guide to Flood Resilience. It has been created by former flood victims, Mary Dhonau and Carly Rose, to provide practical guidance on the steps required to make a home resilient to flood water.

Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the campaign, described it as ‘the antidote to Defra’s resilience action plan’, adding, ‘the drive from government is that you must protect your property from flood, yet where on earth should people start?’

The new edition includes a design of a flood resilient prototype home that walks readers through all the interventions that can be taken.

‘Having been flooded myself on many occasions I know just how appalling flooding is and the hardest part is the recovery,’ she says.

‘With people spending an average of nine months out of their homes after a flood occurring, I’ve made it my personal mission to help people reduce this time and by taking the steps included in the Guide, recovery time can be dramatically reduced.’

Mary has spent the last year interviewing people affected by flooding and who have since made their homes flood resilient.

They include Mr and Mrs Buttery, a couple from York who have been flooded 10 times and, following a number of resilience measures, can now get their home back to normal within one hour. Another is Sue Cashmore from Cockermouth who, having been flooded several times – including water reaching 7ft in one flood event, has used funds from a government grant to make modifications to her home, which makes recovery much quicker.

Mary said she was ‘on a personal mission’ to help people become more aware of their risk and take practical steps towards resilience.

‘Being aware, having a plan and taking precautions to reduce our own risk is half the battle. Whilst it may not always be possible to stop flood water getting into a home, my hope is that by reading this guide, people at risk can understand what they can do to reduce the awful aftermath and recover far more quickly than in the past.’

The new Guide is designed to make people aware, prepare and take practical steps to reduce the impact that flooding can have on their lives. It contains the resilient home prototype design, eight new case study interviews with flood victims from affected areas such as Cockermouth, York, Kendal and Leeds, all of whom have put measures in place to prepare for flooding.

The launch of the guide is in advance of the Environment Agency’s #floodaware fortnight campaign, which starts on November 1 and encourages the public to be aware and prepared for potential flooding.

Photo by muffinn

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Austin Macauley

Austin Macauley

Editor, Environment Journal

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