Understanding flood risk at a local level and taking appropriate action can help communities become more flood resilient. Communities can work with key agencies to manage their flood risk by forming a flood action group, creating a community flood plan and considering the potential for developing a community flood scheme.
A flood action group is a voluntary group of local residents, who meet on a regular basis, to work on behalf of the wider community to help to try and reduce the impact of future flood events. The group can focus on emergency planning, flood resilience, warning and informing and can also tackle local issues, whilst providing a unified voice for the community to communicate ideas and queries to others.
Each group decides on its own roles, responsibilities, aims and objectives.
The roles of a flood action group could include:
For more information, download our resource on flood action groups here.
An established group can encourage the wider community to get involved, including residents, local businesses, landowners and professional partners, as they can be important in improving flood resilience within the community. Our resource on how to reduce the impacts of flooding contains information on community flood resilience and can be downloaded here.
If your community is situated in a flood warning area, you can encourage residents and local businesses to sign up to receive flood alerts and warnings by clicking here ; and check out the ‘Check for Flooding’ service, by clicking here, both of which are free services from the Environment Agency
Depending on the scope of the work, it could be recommended that a flood action group has public liability insurance. This may be available through your local neighbourhood watch group.
Click here to download ‘A guide to Forming a Flood Group’
Hover over each benefit below or read the text beneath the image to explore the multiple benefits of community flood groups.
Download the full resource with explanations here.
Community Flood Plans outline actions to take before, during and after a flood, enabling the group to respond efficiently during flooding.
Groups can form positive links with Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) and other organisations and work in partnership with them.
Groups can use their skills to focus on other emergencies or weather events which could impact the community.
Constituted groups can access funding for equipment, which could improve community resilience.
Groups can utilise various skills and resources that different members have to help in an emergency.
Communities have valuable local flood knowledge from years of living in the area that is essential for flood risk management.
Communities are more resilient working together. Groups can communicate with other residents to increase their awareness of local issues.
Voicing concerns as a group may have greater influence on decision makers compared to those voicing their concerns alone.
A flood event often brings attention to flood risk issues which can be localised to individuals and communities, or could affect the wider area leading to a catchment approach. Flooding issues that arise may relate to rivers or smaller watercourses, sewers and drainage, infrastructure care and maintenance, and much more. A community that has experienced flooding may be in the best position to identify problem areas, and can work with Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) to explore potential management opportunities.
Communities can work with key RMAs to manage their flood risk by forming a flood action group. A flood action group can represent the wider community, providing a single voice that engages with the RMAs to find solutions.
As well as in person engagement, communities can utilise online engagement platforms to host community meetings with themselves or external agencies and authorities. Online engagement is particularly useful in various circumstances, such as during extreme weather, a global pandemic or when facilities are limited. It allows for communities to continue to work together along with external agencies and authorities, to receive up to date information and ask flood related questions.
Online engagement can take place through:
These are some of the following programmes that are available to use:
The format of the meeting is dependent on the aim and the host should decide which is the most appropriate.
For more information on online community engagement, click here.