Improving flood warning awareness in low probability and …
…medium – high consequence flood zones
Generally the areas targeted to increase awareness have been those communities calculated to be at the higher end of the ‘at risk’ spectrum. Under its terms of operation, the Environment Agency is duty bound to provide a flood warning service. Low probability flood zones, where flooding consequences may be medium to high, potentially present large risks to the public and the Agency owing to a number of factors, including a false sense of security if areas are defended to any degree.
This report is the culmination of a two phase R&D project to identify a series of recommendations for the Agency in developing strategies to raise awareness of flood risk in low probability medium-high consequence flood zones. A broad review of various approaches to risk communication in terms of flooding and other hazards both in the UK and elsewhere was undertaken to identify key lessons learnt. This review was taken from both literature as well as from practice, with input obtained from an array of stakeholders engaged in flood risk management and communication both within the UK, as well as from three other countries, namely The Netherlands, Australia and the United States.