Mary Dhonau, chief executive of Know Your Flood Risk Mary Dhonau, chief executive of Know Your Flood Risk FloodSax alternative sandbags protecting a home FloodSax alternative sandbags protecting a home

Why the Government must provide grants to protect homes and businesses from flooding

Pressure group Know Your Flood Risk says money for flood protection and mitigation work is vital, especially to help people on low incomes

The Government should provide grants for homeowners to protect their homes being wrecked by floodwater in the same way they give grants for loft and cavity wall insulation.

Pressure group Know Your Flood Risk says climate change means the UK will always suffer from extreme weather so now is the time for the Government to provide support for homes vulnerable to flooding in the same way it gives grants so people can make their homes more environmentally efficient.

The group says the move would save a fortune in damage along with the human misery and trauma that flooding brings, adding that no matter what major flood defences the Government builds, homes and businesses will always be vulnerable to flooding.

Mary Dhonau, chief executive of Know Your Flood Risk (, told The Independent: “This is common sense. It is not only the ethical thing to do but it makes sense economically too. It reduces the long-term outlay in supporting those people with health and financial problems in the future. It would save the country money in the long run.”

Victims of major floods are now eligible for £5,000 in Government support but critics say that money should be made to prevent floods in the first place.

Mary added: “The grants need to be available before the floods. It should help people be prepared so they don’t have to spend as much after.”

The Government grants could be used for vital flood mitigation work such as rendering indoor walls, laying waterproof flooring or raising kitchen units – the kind of major work that some people simply couldn’t afford. This means that if the worst was to happen and a property was flooded, they could be made habitable again fairly quickly within days or weeks. People are now forced out of their homes or businesses for months – sometimes well over a year – after they have been badly flooded.

The issue is made worse by the fact that many people don’t realise that councils in the UK have no responsibility to provide sandbags so people need to protect their own homes and businesses from flooding.

Some councils recommend FloodSax ( alternative sandbags for instant flood protection which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags and are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.

When FloodSax come into contact with water they absorb 20 litres which transforms them from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes.

More than 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.

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