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Know Your Flood Risk backs EA’s flood defence and resilience strategy and calls on Government to invest money to make it a reality

May 13 2019

Mary Dhonau OBE, chief executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, has welcomed the Environment Agency’s major long-term strategy into tackling flooding and coastal change. Speaking on ITV’s News at Ten, Mary said: “People are now waking up and smelling the flood water… I hope that Government listens to the Environment Agency and invests the money needed for flood resilience measures and community defences.”

Mary, who is a champion for community-based flood resilience and has become a prolific flood awareness and resilience campaigner, has been attending the Environment Agency workshops to help shape the long-term strategy.

Confirms Mary: “I am in agreement with the Emma Howard-Boyd from the Environment Agency in that we cannot ‘win a war against water by simply building infinitely high flood defences’; sadly there is no one sticking plaster to stop floods from happening.

“Instead, I look on flood risk management as a jigsaw puzzle that brings together many differing interventions. This includes municipal flood defences, natural flood management, sustainable urban drainage and landscaping, and new housing designed with resilience in mind.

“Since the beginning of the year, I’ve interviewed many households that have been directly affected by floods, and it is essential that we also add ‘household adaptation to floods’ into the mix. I’ve heard amazing accounts from both homeowners and business, who have taken steps to reduce the impact of future floods, meaning they can return home sooner following a flood. The outcomes of my interviews will be compiled into an eBook to help inspire others into what can be achieved. With the ever-burgeoning impacts of climate change, it is essential that we all work in partnership to reduce the awful impact of flooding.”

Mary, known affectionately as ‘Mary Queen of Floods’, currently sits as a leader on one of the six Government task groups, as part of Defra’s Property Resilience Round Table, where members are working to deliver the findings of the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan report.

With Mary’s task group focusing on ‘Community Innovation’, an eBook is being published that will provide best practice examples of real people who have been impacted by flood and adapted their properties internally to make them resilient to future flood incidents.

Concludes Mary: “I know from first-hand experience just how appalling being flooded is and sadly, I I don’t think we will fully escape from flood risk, however we can make living with the prospect far easier. By sharing our ideas and real life examples of just resilience measures are possible, it will provide great motivation to others living with the same concerns.”

The Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, which is supported by Landmark Information Group, aims to raise awareness of the risk of flooding from all sources. It is one of the UK’s most recognised online sources for helping people find out the flood risk related to their current or future homes.

A free Homeowners Guide to Flood Resilience is available to download from here. For more information, visit www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk, or follow the campaign on Twitter.