UK Floods – Flood Free Homes Campaign

A new campaign to raise the issue of long-term flood defence investment and land and water management in the UK has been launched today.

Behind the “Flood Free Homes” campaign is the Association of British Insurers (ABI), supported by Friends of the Earth, Know Your Flood Risk, National Flood Forum, and the Property Care Association’s Flood Protection Group.

The aims of the campaign are to increase investment in flood defences, adapt to climate change and plan together to introduce long-term solutions to the threat of flooding.

By 2025, Flood Free Homes wants £1 billion per year to be spent managing flood risk in order to keep pace with climate change.

Flood Free Homes also wants a zero tolerance approach to inappropriate new developments in areas at risk of flooding.

A consensus across all political parties on ambitious long-term solutions that manage all types of flood risk.

Flood Free Homes

Floods Have Cost UK Insurers £4 Billion in 10 Years

The campaign comes after the UK has experienced several major flood events over the last decade.

In 2007, floods during the summer resulted in 185,000 insurance claims at a cost of £3 billion. During the winter of 2012, flooding in the UK caused damage costing £594 million in insurance claims. The winter storms and floods of 2013 to 2014, still very fresh in the mind, left the UK insurance industry dealing with 18,700 claims and a bill of £451 million.

UK Tidal Surge, December 2013
UK Tidal Surge, December 2013

Organisers of the Flood Free Homes campaign know this situation cannot continue.

Huw Evans, Deputy Director General at the ABI, said:

“The need for this campaign to address the UK’s rising flood threat has never been more important. No action is not an option. Last winter’s floods highlighted the trauma and devastation flooding brings. How we manage our land and water has to become central to government decision making across the UK, whoever is in power.

Without adequate long-term investment in flood defence protection that reflects the increasing threat, a zero tolerance towards building in flood risk areas and political agreement, too many communities will continue to live with the constant fear of flooding.”

Flooding Is Now The Biggest Natural Threat Faced By The UK

There are around 2 million homes in England and Wales at flood risk, from rivers and sea, and around 2.4 million additional homes at risk of surface water flooding.

Mary Dhonau, Chair of the Flood Protection Group Property Care Association and Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, said:

“Extreme weather events are becoming too common place to be ignored, flooding is the biggest natural threat faced by the UK. We urgently need a cross party consensus for managing floods, one that will address all forms of flood risk, one with an ambitious long-term goal that will embrace innovation and investment to reduce flood risk.”

Find out more about the campaign from their website at www.floodfreehomes.org.uk

floods uk
Floods in UK Winter 2013. Photo: Mary Kelly