Are young people leaving themselves at risk of flooding?
According to recent figures from the Environmental Agency, young people in the UK may be leaving themselves at risk of flood damage. Around 75% of 18-24 year olds are not aware if they are living in an area at risk of flooding in the last year. Why is this so much of a problem and what can people do to find out how at risk their property is?
With the number of properties in the UK at risk of flooding being so high (1 in 6 properties), concerns are being flagged that young people are leaving themselves at risk of the dangers and high financial costs associated with severe flooding.
To make matters worse, over 100,000 young people live in an area at risk of flooding. Because young people statistically move more frequently and are more likely to rent property, this has resulted in many people simply ignoring the flood status of their accommodations.
Not just students at risk
Though young people were one of the worst offending groups when it came to not knowing their accommodation flood status, the average number of British adults in general checking their status in the last 12 months was a meagre 23%.
This represents a bigger problem than you might think, because it means that many homeowners are not only leaving themselves open to flood damage, but are also leaving an often misplaced amount of trust in government anti-flooding initiatives. By not getting clued into property status, many homeowners are missing the opportunity to protect their properties and livelihoods.
John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environmental Agency said: “Simple actions such as moving possessions upstairs before a flood can save an average of £6000 in damages, so the notice that a flood warning can give is really important.
“Flooding is an ever present risk and everyone has a part to play in protecting themselves. You can find out if you are at risk online, and sign up to free flood warnings, which provide vital time for people to get themselves, their loved ones and their possessions out of harm’s way.”
The Environmental Agency are spending over £2.5billion on flood relief and prevention schemes which are predicted to help around 300,00 homes by 2021.
Unfortunately, as the Environmental Agency are quick to point out, even increased spending won’t help to protect all homeowners and flood risk is high. In these situations, for many homeowners, especially those who rent properties, one of the easiest things to do that can have a massive impact on flood damage is to check the flooding status on a property. This will then make it easier to plan in advance, and seek flood awareness and protection methods such as sandbags to protect properties at risk.
You can use the government’s flood risk assessment tool to check out the long term risks associated with your property. It is a very simple process and will give you some indication to the risk that sea and river, surface water and reservoir flooding pose to your home.
Prepare for flooding this winter
Heavy periods of rain and wind have already hit the country, and many areas in the UK have been hit by flooding already. Additionally, the first named storm of the season, Angus, has also caused flooding and damage in locations around the country.
Make sure that your house is protected from the damages associated with flooding by following the advice in our downloadable guide.