Press release

Be ‘aware and prepared’ for winter flood risks

The Environment Agency is urging people across Leicestershire and Rutland to be ‘Aware and Prepared’ for winter flood risks in their area.

‘Aware and Prepared’ is the theme of a week long campaign to raise awareness among residents about how they can better protect themselves, their neighbours and their businesses, against winter hazards such as flooding, illness and severe weather. As part of this campaign, the Environment Agency is urging local residents and businesses across Leicestershire and Rutland to be ‘Aware and Prepared’ for winter and encouraging people to check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and be prepared.

Flood risk across Leicestershire and Rutland

Over 20,000 properties in Leicestershire and Rutland are at risk of being flooded from rivers, but less than a quarter have signed up to the Environment Agency’s full flood warning service. Signing up could give you valuable time to move your family and pets to safety, as well as moving your possessions out of the way of floodwater.

Matt Gable, Flood Risk Advisor from the Environment Agency, said:

1 in 6 properties are at risk of flooding, so it is vital that people are prepared for the next time a flood occurs. We are urging everyone at risk of flooding across Leicestershire and Rutland to make sure they sign up to receive the free warnings. A warning can make such a difference to the time you have to prepare and take action to mitigate the devastating impacts a flood can have.

We want people to stay safe and urge people not to risk driving through flood water – plan ahead and think now about alternative routes if your usual access routes are blocked.

Raising awareness in your community

The Environment Agency is also actively raising awareness among local communities about the risk of flooding. Following the successful Community Flood Warden training event last year, another session is due to take place on 19 November. The event will include training on the role of community flood warden, the flood warning service and planning. There will also be a community drop-in session in Loughborough on 20 November, inviting local residents to discuss flood risk and flood risk management in their area.

Other flood awareness raising activities have recently taken place in Aylestone, Market Harborough and Blaby, where staff have provided information and advice on local flood risk issues.

The Environment Agency has also worked closely with Leicestershire Local Resilience Forum on the recent review of the Multi-Agency Flood Plan which is due to go live soon. This plan will contribute towards the effective multi-agency response of flooding incidents.

For further information about how to prepare for flooding and to find out if your home is at risk please visit Environment Agency flood pages or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

People can also keep up to date on social media at @envagencymids, #floodaware or follow Leicestershire’s campaign through #awareandprepared.

Background information

The ‘Aware and Prepared’ campaign has been organised by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Prepared, Local Resilience Forum (LRF) which was formed in 2005 in response to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This act requires specific organisations across police areas to work together to prepare, respond and recover from different emergencies. LLR Prepared is made up of members from 18 core responding agencies and a wide range of supporting agencies including the military, voluntary agencies and utility and transport companies.

A significant area of Leicester is at risk of flooding from the River Soar and its tributaries, most notably the Willow Brook. During November 2012, the River Soar experienced a flood event of between a 1-in10 and 1-in-20 year likelihood. Major property flooding in Leicester from the River Soar was narrowly avoided.

There are approximately 20,000 properties at flood risk in Leicestershire. There are also approximately 4,000 properties at risk from surface water flooding.