Last week saw the largest tidal surge in 60 years, resulting in devastating floods across much of South East England.
With further flood warnings being issued across the UK, data from the Met Office suggests that flooding could threaten to become an even more regular occurrence over the coming years.
Since 1960, there has been a gradual increase in how often the UK experiences periods of extreme rainfall. Intense rainfall, which used to occur on average once every hundred days, has gradually become more frequent so that in the last decade heavy rain now falls roughly once every 70 days.
The impact of this can be felt nationwide and, with almost 1,400 properties having been affected by the most recent floods alone, more and more homeowners and tenants alike are being urged to take into account the practical considerations surrounding recovery.
Against this backdrop, and in order to provide householders with practical advice in the event of a flood, Know Your Flood Risk has launched its new Flood Recovery Guide.
Written by Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, along with Researcher Carly Rose, both of whom have first-hand experience of flooding, the document offers an accessible step-by-step guide to help victims through the initial stages of recovery, as well as in the months to come regardless of whether the property is insured or not.
As Mary explains: “When I first flooded, I was caught utterly unaware. I was woken in the middle of the night by my son telling me that downstairs was under a foot of water. I lost all my youngest son’s playgroup drawings along with many other irreplaceable photographs and possessions. However what struck me at the time was the complete lack of help or guidance for people such as myself, caught in that situation.
“It can be extremely traumatic, and facing the clean-up process is daunting. However, by drawing on our own experiences we’ve been able to break the problem down into a series of manageable steps. It can be tempting to try and tackle everything at once, but there are some really important factors you need to take into consideration, from liaising with your Loss Adjuster through to some really basic health and safety considerations.”
“The average flood claim is estimated to be around £30,000,” Mary continues. “However in many cases householders, particularly in the rental market, don’t even have the benefit of flood insurance simply because it is too expensive.
“If this is the case there are still a number of things you can do, and often there are grants and charities in place to support you. The real benefit of this guide is that it offers guidance and advice regardless of your situation. Every flood is different, and every house is unique, so the processes you need to follow will not necessarily be the same as your neighbour. It can take up to 12 months before any repairs are completed, but with the right support and guidance, you can ensure that the recovery process is on track even from day one.”
“We understand as well as anyone the loss, disruption and heartache that flooding causes,” Mary concludes. “However recovery is possible and, even when the situation seems most overwhelming, simply following some practical steps can make all the difference in terms of getting things back on track following the damage caused by flooding.”
The Know Your Flood Risk Flood Recovery Guide offers a wealth of practical hints, tips and guidance, along with third-party information sources and advice, all presented in an accessible, easy-to-follow format. The Guide is free to download at www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk