The Government now has a scheme which gives £5,000 to flooded homes and businesses to make them more resilient to flooding in the future.
While this scheme known as the Flood Recovery Framework is certainly welcome, preventing floods in the first place would surely be far more cost effective.
A box of 20 FloodSax alternative sandbags would be enough to protect most homes from flooding and retail at around £140 … a fraction of the cost the Government is giving those who have already suffered the misery of a flood.
FloodSax are the original sandless sandbags made by pioneering award-winning Yorkshire company Environmental Defence Systems Ltd.
Managing director Richard Bailey said: “While it’s great the Government is providing some support for people hit by flooding, prevention in the first place would certainly be better and more than 30 homes and business could be protected proactively rather than one reactively for the same cost.
“Until people have been flooded it’s impossible to imagine the devastation it wreaks on every aspect of their lives. Many businesses that have been flooded never reopen and floods force people out of their homes for months while they have to wait for them to dry out and be repaired. This can often drag on for up to a year with flood victims living with relatives or in temporary rented accommodation.
“It disrupts every access of their lives – family, friends, their mental health and relationships - yet so often all this could so easily be avoided.”
Insurance claims from flooding are way higher than burglaries with the average claim in the UK now about £31,000 for homes and more than £70,000 for businesses. Flooding is known as “the thief who takes everything.”
It wrecks the very fabric of a property – walls will need replastering and floors relaying – as well as destroying possessions. Any electrical items such as TVs, dishwashers and tumble dryers will need to be thrown away if they are damaged by floodwater and there is always the danger that items of great sentimental value could also be damaged beyond repair.
Several areas of the UK have been badly hit by the recent bad weather with an estimated 750 properties in Suffolk reported to have been damaged by flooding during Storm Babet and Storm Ciarán. Several rivers burst their banks.
Richard believes part of the problem is that people still think local councils will provide them with sandbags if flooding is forecast and imminent.
“It’s an urban myth,” said Richard. “Local authorities actually have no responsibility at all to provide sandbags or any other flood prevention measures for people’s homes and businesses. Many flood experts also acknowledge that sandbags are largely ineffective at preventing flooding. Water often seeps through, the bags can quickly deteriorate and the spilled sand not only adds to all the mess but also clogs up drains, leading to more flooding.”
The Environment Agency states: “Don’t assume the authorities will provide you with sandbags in a flood emergency. It’s the responsibility of property owners to take appropriate action to protect their property from flooding. Sandbags are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-built flood protection products. We strongly encourage people to use these products.”
To help communities most at risk from flooding, Environmental Defence Systems will allow flood action groups to have FloodSax at trade prices. Groups would need to contact EDS for more details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01484 641009.
Richard said: “Thousands of homes and goodness knows how many businesses suffered flood damage from the two recent storms, Babet and Ciaran. If you live in an area prone to flooding, now is the time to look around for the flood prevention devices that will be most suitable for you. Don’t wait until the next storm is imminent because by then it could be too late.”
The National Flood Forum is a charity which helps communities at risk of flooding and has a comprehensive list of flood prevention device suppliers with everything from static flood gates to temporary sandbags.
To find out more go to https://bluepages.org.uk/
For more on FloodSax and how they can be used in their dry state inside to soak up leaks, drips and floods and how they can be transformed into instant ‘sandless sandbags’ to stop water getting in through doors and airbricks then go to www.floodsax.co.uk
The Government’s Flood Recovery Framework, which is used in exceptional circumstances to support councils and communities following severe flooding also allows:
* Flooded households in affected areas to apply for up to £500 to give cash quickly to help with immediate costs.
* Households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.
* Small-to-medium sized businesses in affected areas will be eligible for up to £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant to help them return quickly to business as usual.
* Eligible flood-hit property owners will be able to apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding via the Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme.