Posted: Monday 16 January 2023, 09:21
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is supporting the Environment Agency in a new campaign to raise awareness of actions that people in the Erewash area can take to prepare for flooding.
Residents in areas including Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Stanton by Dale will receive information leaflets through their doors in the coming weeks and posters will be on display in the community urging people to know what actions to take if the area was to be impacted by flooding. There will also be digital content promoting the campaign on social media and online.
Most of these communities have not flooded for several decades, largely thanks to flood barriers built in the 1980s. However, while flood defences are very effective at protecting properties when water levels rise, no defence can provide a guarantee against flooding and everyone is recommended to know what to do in the event of a flood.
Flooding can cause up to £30,000 of damage to a home, and can result in mental health impacts, such as PTSD, for those affected. Preparing before a flood, and knowing what to do if it happens, can reduce these significant impacts. However, most people who could flood in the future are unaware of the risk and are unprepared.
Paul Lockhart, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the East Midlands said: “While most of the Erewash communities have thankfully not experienced river flooding in recent years, there is still a risk that properties in these areas could flood.
“We’re seeing more extreme weather due to climate change and in the past year alone we’ve had three named storms in a week, record-breaking temperatures and drought declared across large parts of the country.
“The best way to be prepared is to sign up for flood alerts and to have a flood plan in place so you know what to do should the worst happen.”
People in these communities are being urged to visit the Plan Ahead for Flooding page on GOV.UK to find out what actions they can take to prepare, including:
- Packing a bag with essentials like spare medication and important documents
- Making a note of key contact details such as your insurance company and local support services including Erewash Borough Council and local NHS services.
- Sign up for flood warnings that warn of flooding from rivers, seas and groundwater.
Through the campaign, the Environment Agency has partnered with organisations who work hard to help local communities prepare for and deal with the impacts of flooding - from emergency response through to mental health support, including Erewash Borough Council and local NHS services.
Councillor Garry Hickton, Lead Member for Environment at Erewash Borough Council, says: “While Erewash has fortunately not seen any serious flooding for several years, we must work to prepare residents as the risk of flooding is always present.
“This last year has seen the impact of climate change more than ever with extreme weather and temperatures across the nation. All communities, including Erewash, should be aware of the current environmental risks and take steps to prepare for all eventualities.
“The best way for residents to prepare is to sign up for flood alerts, create a flood plan, and read the vital information spread by the Flood Action campaign.”
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Group Manager David Diggins added: “Nobody wants to experience flooding as it can be a frightening and traumatic experience, however there are things that people can do to mitigate the impact. Preparing a personal or business flood plan, signing up for flood warnings, and ensuring you know where to access support is invaluable.
“While there isn’t always something the Fire and Rescue Service can do to help if flood water continues to enter a property, always call 999 where there is either a risk to life, or danger due to flooding affecting electrics which can’t be safely isolated.”
The Environment Agency has provided new flood warnings for a further 400 flood-risk homes and businesses along the river Erewash over the last year. More than 130 high-risk properties have been targeted and can now receive a notification when flooding is expected.
This is part of a nationwide effort to provide all properties at high risk of flooding with a flood warning. More than 50,000 homes and businesses have benefitted from the expansion over the last two years, including many based in rural and remote locations.
Innovative technologies were developed to extend the warnings to these hard-to-reach locations using small, solar-powered equipment to monitor rainfall and river levels.
Thanks to the scheme, more flood-risk properties, businesses and livelihoods, will be able to benefit from the valuable warning service and reduce the harm from flooding this winter.
Residents are also encouraged to contact the Environment Agency if they do experience river flooding. This means that officers can investigate possible cause of flooding such as blockages or a build-up of silt in rivers or streams and take action to prevent further flooding.
People can report flooding via the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
Residents can also call Floodline for advice on 0345 988 1188 (Textphone: 0345 602 6340) which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.