Flood risk is a major problem for millions of homeowners. So a new strategy to make homes more resilient and improve flood management is good news. Yesterday the Environment Agency set out a plan to better protect and prepare millions of homes and businesses in areas where flooding is a problem.
The Agency estimates that more than 5.2 million properties in England are already at risk, and climate change will lead to even more people being affected. With more extreme weather expected, including summer temperatures up to 7.4˚C hotter and 59% more rainfall by 2050, the new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy sets out how to tackle the problem during the next decade.
Measures will include:
- Expanded flood warnings by 2022 to all at-risk properties, with 62,000 more families to be added to the service
- Increased investment in natural flood management schemes to better protect communities, tackle climate change and create new wildlife habitats
- Further promote the use of property flood resilience measures to help homeowners recover more quickly from flooding
- More collaborative partnerships with national road, rail and utilities providers to promote better flood resilience and benefit the public.
The new strategy was announced alongside details of the £5.2 billion that will be spent on flood protection up to 2027, plus a further £200 million for resilience measures in 25 areas around the country.
There will also be reforms to the FloodRe insurance programme based on a review of the scheme published last July. Flood Re is a government insurance scheme that gives access to affordable insurance for hundreds of thousands of homes at high risk of flooding.
The proposed changes include:
- offering discounted premiums to households that have fitted flood resilience measures such as airbrick covers or non-return valves.
- claims payments to include an additional amount to help homeowners refurbish their damaged property in a more flood resilient way.
This news is very welcome, especially as climate change makes widespread flooding likely to become more frequent. To read more about what to do if your home is threatened by rising floodwater, read our blog on this topic here.