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Why don’t people install flood defences?

A feature on BBC Radio 4 Today show this morning, highlighted some of the reasons people don’t protect their properties, even if they live in a flood risk area.

Following a devastating flood in February 2014, Richard Horn a resident of Topsham, Devon, & former emergency planner with Devon County Council, decided to find out how many of the village residents had been prompted to protect their properties from future flooding. After the huge flood, it was discovered that only 50% of those at risk had installed some form of flood defence.

Residents of flood hit areas in both Devon and Cumbria told a BBC reporter the reasons they don’t install defences. Some of the reasons are;

“Too lazy” – people simply don’t get round to it

Have to “get wet to get the grant” - Grants are only available if people have previously flooded, not if they simply live in a flood risk area

“Will escape future floods” – people become complacent about future flooding and believe they will escape future flooding

“Will have to tell insurer” - people are deterred by insurance premiums going up; they have to tell insurers if they install defences and in turn their premium will go up, even if they haven’t previously flooded

In addition, people said a shortage of surveyors causing delays to getting works done, a lack of trust in builders, the belief that it’s up to the government to sort out the problem, a dislike of form-filling, and uncertainty about flood protection products were reasons they did not install defences.

The Association of British Insurers' say that hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses could protect themselves by installing resistance or resilience measures at their property, a spokesperson said: "Some of those will be protected by [public] flood defences, but we think there's definitely an argument for people thinking, 'In the eventuality that I do flood, what measures can I take myself to better protect my property at a property level - or help me recover quicker?'"

Our surveyors & installers at UKFB are Flood Professionals, meaning they are trained to survey & install Kitemark certified flood mitigation. We always recommend Kitemark certified products, or equivalent, which have been tested against rigorous criteria of PAS 1188-1:2014.

Our Flood Risk Checker can be used to check the flood risk of postcodes in England.

The report on BBC Radio 4 can be listened to here – scroll to 2:34:35. 

Click here to read an article reported on BBC News

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