Plug sockets should be installed higher up walls so they are at less risk if a property is hit by flooding, the head of the Environment Agency has said.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Sir James Bevan said homeowners should check their flood risk and consider installing measures such as flood gates and waterproof flooring.
Asked whether those living on the ground floor should consider refurbishments to make their homes more flood resilient, he said: “Yes. There is a greater risk because of climate change. The best defence of all is to know whether you are at risk and what to do if that risk materialises.”
Suggesting people visit the Government website to learn about flood guidance, Sir James added: “That will give you very good advice about measures that you could put into your property – flood gates, impermeable floors, moving the electrics up the walls. That will mean if your home sadly does flood you’ll be able to get back to normal much more quickly.”
A postcode checker is also available to help people understand their level of flood risk.
It comes after the Government announced new funding for flood defence schemes and warned that climate change would put more people at risk.
Writing for The Telegraph , George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, said: “Climate change means more extreme weather, a higher risk of flooding events and coastal erosion. All too often, we are seeing households suffering repeated flooding.”
Government guidance on flood adaptation says: “To reduce flood damage, you can take steps such as laying tiles instead of carpets, moving electrical sockets higher up the wall and fitting non-return valves to stop flood water entering your property through the drains.”
On Thursday, a Met Office study found that 2020 had been in the top 10 for levels of heat, sunshine and rainfall – the first time this had been the case for any one year – with meteorologists warning that Britain needed to prepare for 40C temperatures in the summer, heavy rainfall and greater risk of flooding.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World At One, Sir John Armitt, the infrastructure commission chairman, said: “It is not only floods. We face drought, of course, and we have got to get used to using less water, every one of us at the same time, as we need to invest in more capacity to store the water when it rains.”
He said the Government needed to focus on encouraging people to adopt realistic methods of reducing emissions , instead of relying on “fanciful” technological solutions to prevent climate change.
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