Flood management, mitigation & resilience
Digital transformation of flood warnings. Making critical information available at the right time to the right people in the right way
In England, over 5.2 million properties are at risk of flooding. Successive flood incidents in recent times have demonstrated the need for a timely, accurate flood warning service. The floods of 2007 were the most impactful since 1947 with 55,000 properties, flooded, 7,000 people needed to be rescued and 13 people tragically losing their lives. This prompted a step change in the Environment Agency flood warning service notably with a move to extending the flood warning service by automatically subscribing individuals based initially on their landline address and subsequently based on the contract address for their mobile phone in high risk areas. This approach increased the number of properties on the flood warning service to 1.4million with some 2.3million contacts now registered. However, the highest risk exposure to citizens is outside of the home or office. Walking or driving through flood water is the most likely cause of drowning in flood water both in the UK and internationally. The Environment Agency’s Flood Incident Management Plan 2015-2022 sets out our ambition to ensure that more people will be warned in ways that are relevant to them and their risk and people will be better informed before, during and after flooding so that they have the right information to make the right decisions during a flood. Central to this is the shift to warning people based on their location not just property. By building in-house digital capability and creating strategic partnerships we are transforming our flood warning service leveraging digital services through Google Public Alerts and trialling Cell Broadcasting technologies with EE and Fujitsu. This will enable critical information to be available at the right time to the right people in the right way so they are able to make the appropriate actions to keep themselves and their family safe.
Presentation given at InterFLOOD Asia 28 March 2019
Innovations in Flood Mitigation, Management & Resilience session chaired by Gerald Fleming, Treasurer, International Association of Broadcast Meteorology
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