Environmental experts are urging people across Scotland to prepare for flooding by using a free flood warning service.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is calling for Scots to sign up to Floodline to help reduce the impacts of flooding.
SEPA’s Floodline service provides free, local flooding information by phone or text, helping you prepare for, and cope with, the impacts of flooding.
“Flooding can happen at any time in Scotland, and more and more, we are witnessing the devastation that it can cause in our communities. This is likely to continue with climate change, with projections of more intense rainfall, rising sea levels and stormier weather.” said Stewart Prodger from SEPA’s Flood Unit.
To reduce the likelihood of flooding, it’s important to understand how flooding can affect you.
It’s natural to concentrate on how flooding might affect your home or business, but how about the rest of your life? It can also affect your local roads, community facilities and those you care for.
“You are the first line of defence against flooding. Being prepared by knowing what to do and who to contact if flooding happens, can help you reduce the damage and disruption flooding can have on your life,” said Stewart.
Anyone can register for Floodline to receive free, local warnings directly to their phone. This advance notice gives those affected extra time to prepare for, respond to and protect themselves against flooding.
Janette Tait, owner of Cinnamon Café in Newton Stewart, suffered material and financial loss to her business due to flooding in December 2015.
“My family worked so hard to get sandbags out, but it was all a bit futile by then. Had we had warning the night before it might have been a bit better.”
Mrs Tait has since signed up to receive free flood warnings from SEPA’s Floodline service.
“I now feel much more reassured that if flooding happens again, Floodline’s advance warnings will help me to be better prepared. I have also encouraged other local business owners to sign up to the service,” she said.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham has also urged people to register with the service.
She said: “I would encourage everyone to sign up to Floodline. This is important so people have a better understanding of the risks and can take the necessary actions to protect themselves, their property or their businesses.”
In addition to registering with Floodline to receive free alerts and warnings, SEPA encourages people to take action by using Report-a-Flood, a new tool to share current flooding information.
The agency also recommends that people create a flood kit for emergencies, protect personal property by moving valuables to a safer place, and consider how their travel routes may be affected should flooding occur.