London firefighters are urging people to be prepared for flooding as the risk of thunderstorms and flash flooding escalates this summer.
Crews are concerned that people simply aren’t prepared for flooding and when flash floods hit they are sudden, shocking and overstretch the fire service’s resources.
So they say people must be prepared by buying their own anti-flood devices now before it’s too late and a flash floods strikes.
They also warn that water can come shooting up through toilets so they must be blocked to prevent internal flooding too.
One device many Londoners now rely on are FloodSax sandless sandbags (www.floodsax.co.uk) as they are space-saving to store, quick and easy to deploy and can save countless thousands of pounds in needless flood damage, especially for people living in basement flats. They can also be used to divert water away from homes and businesses and one rolled up and popped down the toilet can stop filthy floodwater shooting out of it.
In a media statement, London Fire Brigade warns: “Two years on from widespread flooding across the capital in 2021 the risk of flash floods is rising once again. As the hot weather continues, dry spells are often followed by sudden and heavy downpours that can quickly swamp an area with flood waters.
“Use flood barriers to divert the water away from your home and to prevent it entering. You can buy flood prevention devices online or from a hardware store.”
Between May and September 2021, London Fire Brigade recorded almost 1,700 flooding incidents across the city.
The service fears it could be facing a similar scenario again, warning: “Recent thunderstorms saw parts of the North Circular in Golders Green submerged by rising water. Flooding also spread to homes and businesses in the area, causing disruption.
“A large number of calls received by the Brigade’s Control Officer led to them implementing batch mobilising to certain incidents. This means flooding calls where there is a risk to life are prioritised and crews then attend other calls as non-emergencies when they can.
“Thunderstorms can be incredibly localised. While one borough could experience heavy rain and flooding, the neighbouring borough could remain completely dry. This makes providing warnings for specific areas of the city hard.”
Assistant Commissioner Charlie Pugsley added: “Hot weather and heatwaves will dry out and crack soil. This makes it harder to absorb and soak up a sudden and heavy downpour.
“Couple this with torrential rain and we could see streets and homes flooded in minutes.”
FloodSax are incredibly versatile. In their dry state they have a large surface area yet are very thin so can soak up water from internal floods, especially in hard-to-reach places.
Yet immerse them fully in water and the gelling polymer inside them absorbs up to 20 litres and retains it, turning them into instant sandbags but without any sand. They are largely biodegradable by weight so are more environmentally friendly and more effective than traditional sandbags.
They were designed by British company Environmental Defence Systems Ltd based in Yorkshire and around three million FloodSax have now been sold worldwide.
Many London borough now use FloodSax instead of traditional sandbags but councils have absolutely no responsibility to provide anyone with anti-flooding devices. The Environment Agency makes it clear people are responsible for their own flood protection.
To find out how to buy FloodSax go to http://www.floodsax.co.uk/buy/uk-suppliers