Residents and businesses in Maidstone are being asked to be prepared for the risk of flooding this winter with the warning of “ignoring the danger at your own peril”.
The Environment Agency is launching an awareness campaign – Flood Action Week (7th-13th November) – to encourage those who live in areas at risk of flooding to act now to protect their home, possessions and family. Data taken from the Risk of flooding from River and Sea report estimates that there are 6,922 homes at risk of flooding in Maidstone with 1,919 homes at high risk!
This year alone, the UK experienced its highest ever recorded temperatures, as the Met Office confirmed that England had its joint hottest summer on record with much of the country still struggling with drought.
“We are seeing the impacts of climate change through wetter winters and drier summers. The Environment Agency is working to help communities in the South East to become more resilient to extreme weather and is prepared to take action this winter when it is needed.
Everyone can be prepared by checking their flood risk and signing up for flood warnings.”Mark Douch, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Kent
Since 1998 we have seen six of the ten wettest years on record and this year for the first time ever saw three named storms in one week.
Looking ahead to this winter, although the Met Office says the chance of wet and windy weather increases as we go through the season, unexpected flooding could occur at any time and communities are being warned not to be complacent following this summer’s dry weather.
One of the key messages coming from COP27, which gets underway in Egypt this week, is that we must plan and prepare for increasingly extreme events.
The Environment Agency is asking people to take preventative steps now including:
- To Sign up for the Environment Agency flood warnings and to check whether your property is at risk: flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings
- Have a flood kit of essential items at home
- If they see any blockages in watercourses to report them to the Environment Agency’s through a free 24- hour incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60
- Keep up to date on social media @EnvAgencySE Further flooding advice can be found on the Maidstone Borough Council website: https://maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/seasonal-advice/tier-2-primary-areas/flooding-advice
At least one in six people in England are at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea, with many more at risk from surface water flooding.
However nearly two in three households at risk of flooding don’t believe it will happen to them, according to analysis produced by the Environment Agency earlier this year.
And despite the research showing that almost two thirds of people (60%) have taken at least one action to prepare for flooding, as many as 1.5 million households, who are at risk, are yet to prepare.
Those at risk are encouraged to follow the advice to ‘Prepare. Act. Survive’, specifically:
- If there is an initial flood alert – prepare by packing medicines and insurance and other important documents and visit the flood warning information service
- If there is a subsequent confirmed flood warning – act by moving family, pets and belongings to safety. Turn off gas, water and electricity
- If there is a severe flood warning – survive immediate danger by following the advice of emergency services or calling 999 if needed
With just 30cm of flowing water being enough to float a car, drivers are also being warned not to attempt to drive through flood water and take extra precautions in wet weather.