SOMERSET families are being warned to check the flood risk status of their properties – and to make sure they are well-prepared in case the worst happens.
Bridgwater and West Somerset Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says now is the time for all house-owners to look seriously at the potential threats to their property and to take whatever steps they can to protect it.
The Environment Agency has launched its annual ‘Prepare: Act: Survive’ winter campaign which encourages people to know what to do in a flood.
But Mr Liddell-Grainger said with the effects of climate change already becoming evident many families may not have realised that the threat to their homes had increased.
“Most of the climatologists’ predictions are proving to have been highly accurate, particularly relating to the trend towards more extreme weather and particularly heavier and localised rainfall,” he said.
“This is heightening the threat to a lot more properties and means that no-one can afford to be complacent.
“Sudden rises in river levels can lead to unexpected overtopping and even on high ground accelerated run-off from fields and moors can affect homes where historically there has never been a flood issue.
“I would urge everyone to follow the Environment Agency’s advice in preparing themselves for flooding as a way of limiting damage to homes and possessions and reducing the risk to life.
“But as a first step everyone should use the agency’s information service to obtain an accurate assessment of precisely what risk they face.
“I am afraid there may be some unpleasant surprises in store for people who thought their homes were flood-proof, but it’s far better to discover the true situation now than to be caught totally unprepared should flooding occur.”