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Be prepared – as worst flooding yet this year predicted

85 flood alerts are in force as of this morning, as weather experts predict regions could see 40-60cm (over two inches) of persistent and heavy rain, predominantly affecting East Anglia and the Northeast, with further alerts in force in the Midlands, the Northwest, Southeast and Wales.

The Met Office has issued Amber (be prepared) Weather Warnings for this period, and the public are advised to keep up to date with online and broadcast forecasts during this unsettled spell.

Tony Waters, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Rainfall totals could be 20-40 mm widely across warning areas, but some places could see around 100 mm of rain through Friday and into Saturday. Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause significant disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas.”

Craig Woolhouse, head of flood incident management at the Environment Agency said: “We are expecting some very significant flooding in the coming days across large parts of the country, and would strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on the forecasts for their area and be prepared for flooding. We would also ask that people stay safe, by keeping out of dangerous flood waters and not attempting to walk or drive through it.

“The Environment Agency has already opened incident rooms and has teams out on the ground checking on flood defences and clearing any blockages in order to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible.”

The Environment Agency has produced a guide Preparing your business for flooding, which includes a flood plan template.
It says that preparing and putting in place a flood plan is the most important thing you can do to prepare your business for flooding.

A flood plan is a written document that outlines how your business will respond to a flood.

It should include:

  • A list of important contacts, including Floodline 0845 988 1188, building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts for staff.
  • A description or map showing locations of key property, protective materials and service shut-off points.
  • Basic strategies for protecting property, preventing business disruption and assisting recovery.
  • Checklists of procedures that can be quickly accessed by staff during a flood.

If a flood is imminent, your main priority is to make sure that your staff are safe. The agency also advises that you should review and update your plan annually.

Direct Gov also has a web page with safety and practical advice and on what to do and expect after a flood.

National trade body The Property Care Association has launched a timely White Paper, offering a detailed look at flooding issues in the UK. The White Paper – Flood Risk, Resilience and Resistance is available for free download (pdf)

Anyone who is concerned about flood risk can call the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188, tune in to local media for updates or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk for more information.

The Environment Agency provides a 24-hour flood warning service for England and Wales. Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service that gives advance warning of flooding by telephone, mobile, fax or pager. To register for the service, call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All that is needed to register is a telephone number where flood warnings can be sent 24 hours a day.

Image credit: Andy Rogers

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