People vulnerable to flooding may be sadly disappointed if they expect councils to provide them with sandbags in an emergency.
For there is no responsibility on councils to do so and many have differing policies on providing anti-flood measures.
Warwick District Council is one that pulls no punches, saying: “There is no statutory requirement for the District or County Council to provide sandbags although there is a broad expectation in the mind of the general public that, in a period of likely flooding, the local council will make sandbags available. This is not the case. Householders and landlords must therefore take responsibility themselves for the protection of their property.”
And Shropshire Council also warns: “If you think you are at risk of flooding do not rely on sandbags for the protection of your home or business. Sandbags are not effective at keeping floodwater from your property, are difficult to handle and troublesome to dispose of.”
All councils seem to agree that home and business owners need to organise their own protection from flooding so they are ready 24/7.
FloodSax are featured in a directory of anti-flood measures called the Blue Pages (http://bluepages.org.uk/) which has been compiled by anti-flooding charity the National Flood Forum.
Here’s what a few other councils have to say on sandbags and flooding.
Derby Council is one that is quite proactive in providing sandbags, but warns on its website: “While we will make every effort to, there is no guarantee that we will be able to deliver sandbags to everyone in time to avoid flooding. Sandbags are heavy and time-consuming to put in place. Other products are now available to buy commercially which are both less cumbersome and offer a better standard of protection.”
Bradford Metropolitan Council says: “There is no statutory requirement for a Local Authority to provide sandbags, nor to prevent a property from flooding. Many councils do not provide sandbags. Residents and business owners are responsible for protecting their own property and where they consider themselves to be in a high risk area they should make appropriate arrangement in advance of a flooding incident. The council may offer assistance where it can, but this will be prioritised.”
Both residential properties and businesses are low on that priority list.
Surrey County Council advises: “There is no statutory requirement for us to provide sandbags or prevent a property from flooding. Residents and business owners are responsible for protecting their properties and should make plans in advance of a flood.”
Guildford Borough Council states: “Although we aim to supply sandbags when flooding is forecast, we cannot guarantee they will be available. Please try to make your own flood protection arrangements if you live in an at-risk area.”
For more information on FloodSax please go to www.floodsax.co.uk and to watch a video which shows how they work simply click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr4QH3XVf-U&feature=youtu.be