5.2 million properties in England are at risk of flooding, and increases in the frequency of intense bouts of flooding are expected across England due to changes in the country’s climate, warns the nation’s Environment Agency.
The UK Environment Agency last week launched its Flood Action Campaign after warning that intense bouts of flooding are set to become more frequent across the country after changes to the country’s climate. Specifically, the UK Met Office records show that since 1910 there have been 17 record-breaking rainfall months or seasons and 9 of them have occurred since 2000. Increases in extreme weather events have long been a sign of the impacts of climate change and now Englanders must begin to prepare for more frequent intense storms and rising sea levels.
Hence the launch of the Environment Agency’s Flood Action Campaign, an advertising campaign using social media and online advertising to warn of the increased risks of intense flooding, and to encourage younger people to check their flood risk at GOV.UK, sign up for free warnings, and to be prepared to take action if and when flooding hits.
The focus is targeted on younger people as recent research has shown that 18 to 34-year-olds are currently the least likely to perceive flood risk in their area, know how to protect their homes, or know where to go for information. As such, this age group is at highest risk of fatality because they are less likely to understand the risk to their own lives.
“Climate change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding. Floods destroy — lives, livelihoods, and property,” explained Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency. “Our flood defences reduce the risk of flooding, and our flood warnings help keep communities safe when it threatens. But we can never entirely eliminate the risk of flooding. Checking your flood risk is the first step to protecting yourself, your loved ones and your home.”
The social media campaign has gone all out seeking to inform and warn people of the risk of flooding in England. The Campaign website provides information and resources for people to determine the potential risks to their property, and what to do in the case of an emergency.
Those of us outside the UK might not necessarily think of England as particularly prone to flooding, and, as has already been shown, obviously a lot of people within the UK and England are similarly unaware of the dangers, but after the lengthy drought came to an end in 2012 in a torrent of water, almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded across England. This was followed in the winter of 2012-14 with coastal surge and record sea levels on the north and east coast, which led to 12 storms in succession helping to make it the wettest winter for 250 years, with 11,000 homes flooded.
Things only got worse in the winter of 2015-16 with widespread flooding affecting 17,000 properties across northern England. The named storms Desmond, Eva, and Frank helped December 2015 to go down in history as the wettest month ever recorded in England.