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Flood protection measures should be built into at-risk properties

Gareth Boyd


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Sandbags at a doorway ahead of the expected high tide after the River Shimna in Newcastle, County Down, burst its banks after Storm Francis hit Northern Ireland causing serious flooding in the Bryansford area of the town

Sandbags at a doorway ahead of the expected high tide after the River Shimna in Newcastle, County Down, burst its banks after Storm Francis hit Northern Ireland causing serious flooding in the Bryansford area of the town

Photopress Belfast

Sandbags at a doorway ahead of the expected high tide after the River Shimna in Newcastle, County Down, burst its banks after Storm Francis hit Northern Ireland causing serious flooding in the Bryansford area of the town

Flooding isn't a new phenomenon, but it has become a more frequent one. In February this year alone the Association of British Insurers stated that damage from flooding exceeded £360m across the UK following the ravages of Storms Ciara and Dennis.

Yet every flooding episode seems to be greeted with a level of surprise despite the warnings from far and wide. Quite simply, we have remained focused on trying to solve the problem when in reality we should be developing resilience against extreme weather events.

Whilst engineered flood defences, flood warnings, upper catchment measures and a wide range of other flood risk management interventions are making a real improvement to the number of households and businesses impacted by record flood events, there is increasing need for resilience to be built into individual properties through the installation of property flood resilience measures, significantly reducing the damage and cost - the average of which is £32,000 - to householders.