Lancashire County Council has launched a campaign to help people be better prepared for possible flooding.
The campaign highlights the fact that flooding can happen almost anywhere, often without warning, during and after heavy rainfall – and that being prepared can significantly reduce its impact on people and property.
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “Over the last few years, we have seen the devastating impact of heavy rainfall in Lancashire where people have had to leave their homes and seen valuables destroyed by flood water.
“Even if you don’t live near open water, there can be a risk of flooding. If it rains hard enough for long enough the roadside drains can become overwhelmed and the water will find its way to lower ground, potentially through houses, businesses or critical infrastructure.
“It can’t ever totally be prevented but there are things you can do to reduce the impact of flooding and preparing in advance will help you keep calm during a stressful situation.
“This includes making sure you have the correct home insurance policy in place; writing a flood plan and preparing an emergency flood kit; making sure you know how to turn off your water, gas and electricity; and looking into ways of protecting your home from potential damage.”
The new campaign involves a range of information and tips being promoted in local communities, as well as on the council’s website and social media.
Phil Durnell, head of highways said:
“Localised flooding on the roads and pavements is a common problem during heavy rainfall, and often for a few hours afterwards. Unfortunately any damage it causes can of course last a lot longer.
“Driving through anything more than about 10cm of water is a risk to motorists and their vehicles, while homes and businesses on the roadside are also at risk of damage from waves caused by vehicles moving too quickly through the water.
“People can help reduce the risk of surface water flooding by making sure any drains on their own property are clear of leaves and other debris, because these often act like a plug and stop the water from draining away. You might even want to check leaves haven’t blocked the drain on the road outside.
“The county council maintains over 300,000 highway drains to help reduce the risk of surface water flooding, regularly cleaning out those that we know can be a particular problem. When heavy rain is predicted we put extra teams on standby to help tackle any problems that occur.”
For more information, advice, useful contacts and to view a short animation about how you can prepare for flooding, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/flooding.