Sefton Council backs Flood Action Week 2021
Sefton Council is backing this year’s Flood Action Week, taking place from Monday 22nd November to Sunday 28th November, to ensure that the Borough’s residents and businesses are aware of the potential risks and are prepared to act in the event of flooding.
Over 5 million people in the UK are at risk of flooding and in Sefton approximately 63% of properties could be impacted by flood events.
The Environment Agency, which is spearheading the awareness week, is urging everyone to take action to protect themselves, their families, homes, and businesses from potential flooding.
With backing from Sefton Council’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) officers, people are being asked to look at ways to manage their own personal risk.
Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services and Chair of Strategic Flood Resilience Group, said: “Flood risk is a serious issue for residents and businesses across the Borough and our officers are dedicated to finding both short and long-term mitigation and solutions to it. This ranges from routine maintenance of gullies to seeking investment for coastal defences.
“Raising awareness and educating communities about the role they have to play in flood prevention and preparedness is another incredibly important part of their work.
“This year’s Flood Action Week is even more important off the back of weeks of talk globally about the climate emergency that we are all facing. Extreme weather events are predicted to become more frequent, but as the Lead Local Flood Authority for Sefton, we are doing all we can to manage these risks and to ensure our communities are equipped with the information they need to be prepared for such instances.”
People can research if they are living in an at-risk area by visiting the Environment Agency website where they can also sign-up for flood alerts and warnings: https://www.gov.uk/browse/environment-countryside/flooding-extreme-weather
Those living near watercourses can monitor river levels online and are recommended to do so during periods of heavy rainfall: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/river-and-sea-levels
Sefton residents and businesses can prepare a personal plan of action that includes knowing where medications are, insurance documents, and how to turn off gas, water and electricity in their properties. The North West Flood Hub website provides a one stop shop for all information and advice regarding flooding, including planning toolkits: https://thefloodhub.co.uk/household-flood-planning-toolkit/
People are also reminded to bookmark weather and flood forecasting websites, such as the Met Office. This enables them to check rainfall radars and forecasts, particularly during the wetter autumn and winter months, to be prepared for any instances of flooding.
Finally, residents are urged to protect their own properties by clearing and maintaining drains and grids to prevent blockages and to consider using water storage systems that could reduce the amount of flooding during heavy rainfall.
The Council has recently ended a public consultation on a new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy. The new Strategy takes into account recent climate change predictions and outlines the actions that will be undertaken to reduce the risk and impact of flooding and coastal erosion on Sefton’s communities. It is expected that the new Strategy will be adopted in early 2022.
The Strategy also outlines the clear roles and responsibilities of not only the Council, but other risk management authorities including the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Highways England and the Canal and River Trust.
Cllr Fairclough added: “We continue to work with our key partners to manage flood risk across Sefton.
“We’ve already met a number of times this year under our new working group and I am confident that this collaborative approach is already resulting in positive outcomes that will benefit all of our communities.”
Approaches already being undertaken by the FCERM team includes assessing planning applications to ensure future climate predictions are considered in designs, to designing in sustainable drainage systems within Council sites.
Anyone concerned about flooding can find further advice on flood risk and what to do to protect their property on the Sefton Council website: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/flooding
Residents can report flooding on a public highway or any blocked road gullies on the Sefton Council website using an online reporting form.
Should anyone end up with flood water in their property, they should report this to firstname.lastname@example.org with any photos to accompany the report.
Reporting incidents will ensure that the Council can understand the extent and location of properties impacted by incidents of flooding and allow officers to work with other flood risk management authorities to help reduce the risks and consequences of future flooding.