People living in London know only too well the dangers of flash flooding with the capital hit by three major flooding emergencies in the last 16 months.
But the worry is many still don’t know what to do or how best to protect their homes or businesses if flooding is imminent. Those most at risk are the tens of thousands living in sub-pavement flats.
One thing is for sure, London boroughs have no responsibility to provide sandbags and traditional sandbags are normally ineffective against floods anyway.
While some boroughs do try to provide emergency anti-flooding alternative sandbags such as FloodSax, people have to take their own measures to protect their flats, houses and business premises.
The capital was deluged by flash floods twice in a week during the summer of 2021 and again in August 2022, causing millions of pounds water damage to homes and businesses and shutting down Underground lines.
As part of London Flood Awareness week running from November 28 to December 4, 2022 the London Assembly has put together a quick online 2-minute test to see if Londoners know what to do if faced with more severe flooding.
Access it by clicking here. https://bit.ly/3uduB1A
The test warns: “Most Londoners don’t expect their home to flood but with the changing climate bringing more frequent and intense rainfall, flooding can happen to anyone so it’s important to be prepared.”
Insurance giant Zurich recently warned that almost half of London’s businesses are now at risk from flash flooding.
It says flash floods could swamp 42% of the 301,000 commercial buildings in the capital with 33,200 commercial basements especially at risk.
A report in Insurance Business UK revealed that research has discovered the area in London most vulnerable is Kensington and Chelsea with 63% of its commercial properties in danger from flash flooding.
Other high risks boroughs include Hammersmith and Fulham at 56%, Merton and Southwark at 54% and Wandsworth at 53%.
In the wake of the two major flash flooding incidents in London in July 2021 it was revealed that almost half of hospitals, one in five schools and a quarter of London’s rail stations are at risk of flooding.
The statistics revealed by City Hall also say around 200,000 homes and workplaces are at medium or high risk of surface water floods.
Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham are all at particularly high risk of flooding.
To reduce their flood risk and be sure they are prepared 24 hours a day seven days a week many people, including several London boroughs, are using FloodSax as it’s far more space-saving to store than traditional sandbags, easier to deploy, more robust against floodwater and a lot more environmentally friendly.
Known as the sandless sandbag, the FloodSax is a British invention now used worldwide. It has a large, ultra-flat surface area when dry so can be used inside buildings to soak up drips, leaks and floods. But when immersed in water the gelling polymer inside absorbs the water and retains it, transforming the FloodSax into an instant sandbag but without any sand.
It’s ideal to protect properties from flooding inside and out, especially for people living in basement flats. They are vacuumed-packed so take up hardly any room.
FloodSax were invented by Richard Bailey, managing director of Yorkshire-based Environmental Defence Systems Ltd, who said: “A few London boroughs have used FloodSax for a while now but we have seen a sharp increase in orders from other boroughs in the wake of the terrible floods in 2021 and 2022 which have showed the tremendous power of water and the destruction it can cause.
“Water wrecks everything and with so many basement and ground-flood flats at risk in London, the danger they will become flooded is ever present.”
The Underground has used FloodSax alternative sandbags to deal with floods on its network, especially those parts used by passengers where water can cause health and safety problems such as the risk of slipping.
For more information on FloodSax and how versatile and multi-purpose these alternative sandbags can be, go to http://www.floodsax.co.uk/