Britons naive about flood risks
A quarter of British homes are at risk of flood, yet 83% of homeowners do not consider their homes to be at risk.
That’s according to new research released today to coincide with the inaugural National Flood Risk Awareness Week which runs from 1st – 5th November and commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Autumn floods’ of October – December 2000.
As recently as last year, regions including Sheffield, Cumbria and Cork were devastated by floods, yet the tragic pictures of residents fighting to save their homes, possessions and even lives seems to have failed to register for many of us.
Therefore the campaign, which has been launched by Landmark Information Group in conjunction with the National Flood Forum (NFF) aims to encourage homeowners to think more deeply about their own flood risk and the measures they can put in place in the event of flood to minimise risk and damage.
James Sherwood-Rogers, Managing Director of Landmark UK Property, Landmark Information Group, says: “In spite of the fact that the country has seen unprecedented levels of rainfall and subsequent flooding in the past few years, a high percentage of the public remain unaware of the dangers and are not, therefore, putting the correct measures in place to protect their homes or businesses, including ensuring their insurance policy covers flood.
Landmark and the NFF also conducted a survey that shows whilst two thirds of the public (65%) rightly believe the UK to be at greater risk of flooding than it was ten years ago, over two-thirds (68%) have put no measures in place to minimise risk to their home and belongings in the event of flooding.
The cost of repairing a flooded home can run into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds, yet, of the 95% of those surveyed who have contents insurance, nearly half (45%) do not know whether or not their policy covers flooding.
In part due to climate change, surface water flooding has become far more prevalent in recent years and this can affect every home, regardless of its location – a stark wake up call to the 83% who did not consider their homes to be at risk at all.
Mary Dhonau OBE said: “Having been a victim of flood many times, I know more than anyone the extreme devastation it can cause. As a result of my experiences, I began campaigning ten years ago to raise awareness of flood in order to help prevent others going through the same experiences and trauma I did.
“The lives of flood victims can be disrupted for an extremely long time. The 2007 floods in Hull for example, resulted in approximately 17,000 homes affected and 30,000 rendered homeless. Three years on, around 70 people were still not back in their homes. Yet despite this, many people still do not have flood on their radar. I would urge homeowners and businesses to ask their professional / legal advisors to provide a property-specific flood risk assessment such as a Homecheck Flood Report as part of the conveyancing process when looking to move.
“This is why National Flood Risk Awareness Week and initiatives such as the Know Your Flood Risk campaign are imperative as they provide practical and emotional support for home owners and businesses in order to help them become more knowledgeable of their own flood risk.”