Be prepared for flood risk

Be prepared for flood risk, says national trade body

HOMEOWNERS at risk of flooding are being pointed to a library of information that will help them best protect their properties this winter.

National trade body the Property Care Association (PCA) says preparation is the key to minimising the threat of potential water damage – and that useful guidance spelling out the steps that can be taken to shore up buildings could prove vital.

It includes the newly-revised ‘Homeowners Guide to Flood Resilience’, a free-to-download document from the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ initiative as well as the Environment Agency’s ‘Be Flood Aware’ campaign.

The Homeowners Guide to Flood Resilience, available to view at http://bit.ly/2fDvlF0, is co-authored by Mary Dhonau OBE – chair of the PCA’s Flood Protection Group.

It provides a full range of information including examples of flood protection projects in action, guidance on insurance and a review of the positive steps homeowners can take.

More useful insight comes in a short PCA film revealing some of the steps that can be taken to protect properties in a case study format.

The video, available at http://bit.ly/1V4c00b, features interviews with flood victims who have avoided further water damage since introducing resilience measures to their homes.

Ms Dhonau, a prominent flood campaigner, said: “Protecting homes remains a very sensible option as insurance arrangements cannot prevent the appalling disruption and emotional trauma that comes with flooding and its aftermath.

“But the subject can be baffling and many people really don’t know how to make effective preparations. Being able to access the right information is therefore key to making the best decisions.”

Stephen Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “There is a raft of effective measures that can be put in place to increase flood resistance and resilience.

“The key is for the thousands of people at risk of flooding to be aware of the circumstances and to receive the right information to help them make informed choices.

“All too often these factors are considered after the damage is done, but taking a pro-active approach will pay dividends in the long term.”

The PCA’s Flood Protection Group works to raise standards in the flood protection sector and provides information and advice to all parties affected by flood risk.

It was set up in 2014 to deliver assurance to those looking to protect their homes from the worst effects of future floods.

The Group acts as a reference point for legislators, community groups, insurers and forms a national framework to help consumers locate reliable, competent and trustworthy flood protection specialists.

It works to a practical Code of Practice which recognises the need for any professional involved in flood protection to understand the physical, financial and emotional impact on property owners and to work in partnership with insurers.

More information on flood protection and flood resilience can be found via the PCA website at www.property-care.org/homeowners/flood-protection/