Article by Rebecca DeVivo, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA is Scotland’s national flood forecasting and warning authority and is responsible for delivering the Floodline service)
This winter, we are launching a campaign to provide more advanced notice of potential flooding. By working with the Met Office, we will monitor the likelihood and impacts of flooding and broadcast ‘be prepared’ messages on radio stations and on social media to those at risk of significant or severe flooding. If you are signed up to Floodline, you will also be notified when flooding is imminent.
What to do this winter
The first step to being prepared is to contact Floodline to check if you are in one of our Flood Warning Areas. If you are in a flood risk area, you may want to sign up to receive free notifications from Floodline to let you know when and where flooding is likely to happen. You can choose to have these messages sent to your phone as an automated voice message or a text message (or both). You could also sign up on behalf of a friend or loved one and get notified when there is flooding in their area. Even if you are not in a direct flood risk area, you can still sign up to be notified of flooding in your wider, local authority area or for another area of interest in Scotland. It is important to remember that even though your property may not be at risk of flooding, other services in your area, such as public transportation or access for emergency responders may be affected.
If you need to prepare for imminent flooding, there are several actions you could take including moving your car or valuables away from potential damage; checking Travel Scotland online to find out if your travel (route to work, town, etc.) may be disrupted and consider alternative, safe routes; notifying others in your area who are also at risk and contacting your local authority to find out if they have any flood protection products available.
It is important to remain aware and vigilant, especially during the festive season when we are more likely to be out and about. Be safe this winter and be sure to share this information with your community. As they say, “Prevention is the best medicine” and it can help to create strong, resilient communities in the face of flooding.
If you would like to sign up to Floodline, please call 0345 988 1188 and one of our advisors will help you to register or visit floodlinescotland.co.uk for more tips and advice.