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Flood management, mitigation & resilience
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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

Note: please click both links to hear audio and view slides at the same time.

Frazer Rhodes - Service Owner - Flood Digital Flood Incident Management, UK Environment Agency

Frazer Rhodes

Frazer Rhodes

Service Owner - Flood Digital Flood Incident Management, UK Environment Agency

Frazer has 19 years’ experience in the flood warning and incident management fields, starting with the Environment Agency prior to the UK floods of 2000, following a BSc in Geography and MSc in Surface and Groundwater Resources. Previous projects have included the expansion of the Flood Warning service in England, the development of a targeted based flood warning system for utility operators, opening up live flood data for commercial re-use and more recently as open data. Frazer led the introduction of new digital services as Flood Digital Programme Manager in 2012 and worked with mobile network operators in the UK to add over 1 million contact numbers to the flood warning system on an opt-out basis. Frazer’s current role is Service Owner for the Flood Information Service on GOV.UK which provides timely, up-to-date flood information for some 6 million users per annum. The service is built on user needs enabling people to
easily understand their flood risk, take action and recover from flooding.

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