More than 100 homes in Uckfield identified as being “most at risk” from flooding, or the effects of flooding, have received doorstep visits to alert them to specific risks.
There are 108 homes altogether which fall into that category. Of them 37 are in the High Street area, four in Alexandra Road, 45 in Millington Court and 22 in Olives Meadow.
Firefighters, community volunteers and Police Community Support Officers have visited each of them to ensure they are flood prepared.
The visits were undertaken through the Wealden Flood Prevention and Preparedness Project, a joint initiative from Wealden District Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Similar visits were also undertaken to 475 residential properties in Hellingly and 278 in Pevensey Bay.
Ninety-seven per cent of the householders who were talked to since the visits have said they now feel confident about coping with flooding.
Cllr Clair Dowling, Wealden cabinet member for public health and community safety said: “Although extreme weather events are more likely because of climate change we never know when they will strike.
“But with improved flood risk analysis, we can identify those properties where flooding is more likely to occur. It may be from flooded rivers and watercourses or hillside run-off or, in coastal areas, high tides.”
She added that by working together the council, fire service and Sussex Police had put the information to good use by alerting residents through a series of doorstep visits.
Gary Walsh, deputy chief fire officer at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our crews see first hand the chaos which can be caused to homes by floods and therefore the Flood Preparedness Project is absolutely the right thing for the fire and rescue service to do in partnership with Wealden District Council.
“This initiative will improve community resilience in those areas regularly affected by flooding, making those communities better able to plan for and able to deal with an emergency – or even prevent it in the first place.
“In the most serious cases of flooding it can take months to recover, leaving people homeless or out of pocket as they try to replace their possessions. By raising awareness, individuals and the community will be able to return to normal much quicker as a result of this initiative.”
Local flooding risks were identified to residents during doorstep visits and information left for those who were out.
All homes received an information pack including a fridge magnet giving key contact information, and an advice leaflet.
Evaluation of the project indicated that before the visits, only 56% of residents felt prepared for a flooding event. Following the visits, 97% of the households felt confident about managing a situation, and 93% of them said the visits were useful.
Wealden has produced an online toolkit for the use of town and parish councils to help and encourage them to coordinate similar projects in their local areas.
For further information about the Wealden Flood Prevention & Preparedness Project, is available on the Wealden Council website.
For information on the latest flood protection products and services visit the National Flood Forum website.
For information on flooding:
- From a sewer, call Southern Water on 0845 278 0845.
- From the sea or river, call the Environment Agency on 0345 988 1188.
- From the highways, call ESCC highway authority on 0345 60 80 193.
The latest weather information can be accessed from the Met Office web site, on Twitter @metoffice or on Facebook. The Wealden website, also contains information about what to do in the event of severe weather – search under severe weather.
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