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Flooding – make sure you’re prepared

Press release   •   Jul 15, 2014 11:03 BST

Government advisors (the Committee on Climate Change) have recently warned that 55 per cent of the 4m households living in England’s flood plains – or more than two million households - are unaware they are at risk of flooding.*

So residents, landlords and business owners of Heywood and east central Rochdale are being urged to attend a Flood Awareness event organised by Rochdale Borough Council to learn how to prepare for and minimise the impact of flooding on their properties.

As last winter showed, flooding can have huge effects on people, communities and businesses. It can bring risks to life and health, cause major property damage and disruption. Recovering can be expensive and take a long time to get back to normal.

Free Flood Awareness Roadshows, from 10am to 4pm, are taking place on:

  • Saturday 26 July – Heywood Civic Centre, LCpl Stephen Shaw MC Way, OL10 1LW;
  • Sunday 3 August – Rochdale Fire Service Museum, Maclure Road, OL11 1DN.

Activities will include:

  • Learning what you and your family can do to help prepare against the threat of flooding;
  • Practical advice and demonstrations;
  • Help from experts including the emergency services;
  • Fun activities, giveaways and prize draws.

Councillor Cecile Biant, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Regulation, said: “We are working with the National Flood Forum to help everyone to be more flood resilient and to be able to recover after flooding. It’s important everyone knows their risks and what they can do to reduce them.

The Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder, funded by the government, is working in 13 communities at risk of significant flooding across England including Heywood and east central Rochdale focused on Wardleworth. The project runs to March 2015 and includes support for setting up community flood action groups, advice and training for residents, landlords and businesses and getting people actively involved in river stewardship, helping to keep watercourses and their environment clean and attractive and reporting blockages which could lead to flooding.

Sarah Parkington, from the National Flood Forum, who is working alongside Rochdale Borough Council to help residents and businesses, advised that it’s important you know whether you are at risk and what to do to minimise the impact.

She said: “Those who are better prepared can recover quicker with less damage, disruption and expense. Communities which are better prepared can help attract new investment to manage flood risks and ensure that everybody in their neighbourhood, particularly more vulnerable people, get the help they need. We can help everyone become more aware of flood risks and provide advice, training and support.

“Being prepared can be as simple as taking care to avoid blocking drains and gullies by disposing of litter and discarded food and cooking fat properly or making sure your valuables, medicines and essential documents are easy to access in a flood emergency as part of a grab bag.  It can also include thinking about how your property is maintained.”

Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum, said: “One in five households in the UK are at risk of flooding, so it’s important that everyone knows their flood risk and what they can do to reduce the impact.”

The project is already working with local community groups, residents and businesses, schools, scouts and environmental groups such as the ‘Growth Project’ in Wardleworth, to identify where people working with flood risk management organisations can make a real difference.

For more details of these and future events, or if you want to get more involved or are interested in joining a local flood action group, email sarah.parkington@floodforum.org.uk .

For further information visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/flooding , or to read Rochdale Borough Council’s flood management strategy go to www.rochdale.gov.uk/floodstrategy .


Notes to Editors

* http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/millions-are-unaware-of-flood-risk-to-their-homes-report-says-9593109.html

Sarah Parkington is available for interview. To arranage call Media Manager Emma Ferguson on 01706 925724 or 07972 400452


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