The impact of climate change on Scotland’s most flood prone communities is projected to place more than 200,000 homes and businesses at risk of flooding by 2080.

 Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the UK and can happen at any time of the year, affecting your home, travel and work life.

 Winter storms, severe weather and rainfall mean increased risk of flooding. And with the festive season fast approaching, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is reminding communities to stay prepared in case flooding occurs.

 Stewart Prodger from SEPA’s Flood Unit said: “Being flooded can be a life-changing event, and with so many Scottish homes and businesses at risk of flooding, especially during the winter months, it’s important to have the appropriate measures in place to protect yourself and your loved ones.

 “Sixty per cent of Scottish homeowners surveyed know it’s their responsibility to protect their own property and more than half know to contact SEPA for flood warning information.”

 As Scotland’s national authority for flood forecasting and warning, SEPA operates a 24-hour Flood forecasting and warning service to inform first responders, local authorities and emergency services of emerging flood events and the potential impact on local communities and critical infrastructure.

HeraldScotland:

Stewart Prodger from SEPA’s Flood Unit. 

Operating 365 days a year, SEPA’s Floodline issues hundreds of regional Flood Alerts and local Flood Warnings every year. Over 27,000 customers nationwide opt to receive these directly, with many thousands more accessing them online.

 “Our Floodline service provides live flood updates and advice on how to prepare for and cope with the impacts of flooding 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Prodger explained. “Registering with Floodline is free and means you’ll be able to get flooding information direct to your phone for the areas you’re interested in.”

 Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Reducing flood risk is a key commitment in the Scottish Government’s programme for government and will become even more crucial as climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of flooding across Scotland.

 “The Scottish Government is investing £420 million over ten years to protect homes in many of Scotland’s most flood-prone areas and is working to reduce flood risk by supporting SEPA, local authorities, and Scottish Water to fulfil their flood risk management responsibilities. This includes assessing flood risk nationally and preparing local flood risk management plans, as well as helping the public to be prepared.”

 It’s important to remember that recognising your risk, getting prepared and taking action can help reduce the impact that flooding can have on your life. Here are five simple things that you can do in advance in case flooding is forecast:

 · Be aware: sign up to get SEPA’s free Floodline messages direct to your phone for your home and travel areas. Register online at www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call 0345 988 1188;

· Be prepared: if your home or business is in a flood risk area, make sure you have left it as well flood protected as possible, and if you’re away, make sure a neighbour, or a friend or family member, who lives nearby, can easily contact and help you.

· Be active: maintain your property by doing simple things like keeping gutters and drains clear of blockages like leaves;

· Be covered: make sure your domestic or business insurance covers flooding;

· Be ready: prepare an emergency flood kit either to take away with you on holiday or in case you need to leave your home.

 SEPA currently provides a flood warning service to almost 300 communities across Scotland and this September launched 19 new coastal flood warning areas covering Orkney and the North East Coast.

For a list of flood risk areas, visit floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates/quickdialcodes/

HeraldScotland:

The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at herald.scotland.com and in Business HQ magazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

If you are interested in contributing editorially or interested in becoming a Climate for Change
partner, please contact Stephen McTaggart on 0141 302 6137 or email stephen.mctaggart@heraldandtimes.co.uk

In association with . . .

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THE SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY (SEPA)

A non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government oversees environmental regulation, monitors and reports on the state of the environment, raises awareness of environmental issues, and resolves environmental harms. www.sepa.org.uk

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ZERO WASTE SCOTLAND

A publicly-funded organisation working towards a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. It attempts to influence and enable change by gathering evidence, supporting positive projects and providing technical advice and training.

www.zerowastescotland.org.uk

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LOW CARBON SCOTLAND

Organiser of conferences and events aimed at addressing the current carbon reduction position, enabling those leading and driving policies and proposals to share their vision, and highlighting Scotland as the best place in which to invest in low-carbon businesses.

www.low-carbonscotland.scot

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SCOTTISH FUNDING COUNCIL

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is helping make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, to research and to innovate. Investing around £1.8 billion of public money each year, SFC’s funding enables Scotland’s colleges and universities to provide life-changing opportunities for over half a million people.

www.sfc.ac.uk