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UK flood risk survey fears

Flooding fears from new survey. Picture; YouGov

Homeowners fail to find out whether homes are at risk

Ten years since the devastating summer floods of 2007, which saw more than 48,000 homes affected by flooding, homeowners and landlords are failing to find out whether their homes are at risk.

It’s possible we’re all in denial, but a new survey says we’re ignoring the fact our homes may lie in flood zones, especially if we live in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A new YouGov survey for Landmark Information has revealed that more than half (53 per cent) of respondents have never checked whether their homes are in an area officially considered to be at risk of flooding. This increases to 63 per cent in Scotland and 75 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Thames Flood Barrier
The Thames Flood Barrier – may be needed more in the future

With climate change a fact of life and extreme weather more likely – either drought or flood – we need to be aware if our families and homes are in danger.

When asked what their biggest concern would be if they were to find out their home is located in an ‘at risk’ area, 31 per cent said the potential for loss of damage to personal possessions was their main worry, while 14 per cent stated that they would “not be concerned about anything in particular”.

Cows flood
Cows graze in a flooded field

Those surveyed felt that construction companies, councils, government and environmental authorities could be doing more to raise awareness and manage defence against flooding, with 35 per cent saying their confidence is about the same as it was in 2007.

Consumer knowledge of how to check whether a property is considered at risk was limited; 39 per cent said that checking online via Google or other search engines would be their first port of call, followed by asking the Environment Agency (25 per cent), then asking their council (13 per cent) and 13 per cent said they would not know where to turn for information.

Updated flood report

Landmark has launched an updated Homecheck Flood report, which provides guidance on a property’s risk, including coastal, river, surface water, and groundwater flooding.

It is the only report of its kind to automatically include a manual risk assessment from a specialist environmental consultant should significant flood risk be identified, plus includes the findings on an interactive digital map.

Flooded arable field
Flooded arable field

The new report has been adopted by the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the risk of flooding.

Mary Dhonau OBE, chief executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign said: “I know only too well the devastating consequences of flooding, having been flooded myself on many occasions.

“Planning ahead really is the best policy and knowing whether your property is at risk from flooding will ensure that you are better prepared.

“Being able to access the kind of information that Homecheck Flood provides, for a relatively small cost, means consumers are forewarned; they understand the risk that may face their home and can take adequate measures to make their homes resilient, should the worst occur.”

For more information, visit www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk, or follow the campaign on Twitter @flooduk. The Homecheck Flood report is available from the Know Your Flood Risk website for £30.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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