Monday 12th November sees the start of Flood Awareness Week. The week involves a partnership of the Mayor of London, Environment Agency, Thames Water and London Resilience working together to improve awareness of flood risk and help Londoners get prepared ahead of the winter months. But how at risk is London from flooding? What should you do to prepare? Let’s investigate…
Did you know that 1.3 million people are living and working in areas of the city at risk of tidal and river flooding? How about that around a third of London’s basement properties are at risk of flooding in a severe storm?
These are big numbers. But thanks to London’s extensive flood defence system, including the iconic Thames Barrier, London is well protected against tidal and river flooding. But we cannot prevent all flooding.
There can still be flooding from unpredictable sources, such as heavy rainfall. Unfortunately, these can happen anywhere, at any time. And they can have disproportionate effects on people who are least able to cope with flooding, such as the elderly, and particularly older people who have mental or physical health issues.
Whether it’s losing precious photographs, or having to replace furniture or important documents, flood damage can cost people a lot of money and take a long time to recover from. It can also have long-term mental health impacts.
That’s why the Mayor of London, the Environment Agency, London Resilience and Thames Water are working together to help Londoners better understand their risk of flooding, as well as the actions they can take to help protect themselves, their loved ones and their belongings from flooding. The campaign will run between Monday 12th and Sunday 18th November.
There are lots of quick and simple things you can do now to help prepare for flooding. For example, you can:
- check your risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, rivers and the tidal Thames by typing your address into the Environment Agency’s flood risk checker
- sign up for severe weather alerts from the Met Office
- put your precious and important belongings somewhere safe, like a high shelf or in a waterproof container
- prepare an emergency bag with the things you’ll need if you have to leave your home, such as medicine and important documents
- create a personal flood plan
- get to know your community better so that you can help others who might need assistance
To find out more about how to prepare check out the campaign’s webpage www.london.gov.uk/flood-aware.
To find out how prepared you are for a severe flood event in London, take our quiz: www.london.gov.uk/be-flood-aware (this will be available from Monday 12th November).