Environment Agency
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Students leaving themselves vulnerable to flooding

Lives and possessions at risk, Environment Agency warns

Students in England are leaving themselves vulnerable to the devastating effects of flooding according to new figures released by the Environment Agency. Just 1% of full time students – many of whom move frequently and rent – have checked their flood risk in preparation for this winter, potentially putting their lives at risk.

The YouGov survey, conducted for the Environment Agency, also found that:

  • To prepare for winter, over a third of students had bought an item of winter clothing, but just 1% had checked the flood risk in their local area

  • Around 1 in 6 students said that having their home flood was the one thing that they were most frightened of

  • Students were five times more likely to stockpile food in preparation for winter than to check their flood risk.

Around 105,000 young people live in areas at medium or high risk of flooding – a fifth of the total population in those areas – but almost half said that they would not know what to do in response to a flood warning.

And while young people are the age group least aware of their risk, over two thirds (67%) of British adults haven’t checked if their home is at risk of flooding in the last 12 months, despite last winter’s extensive flooding.

With 1 in 6 properties in England at risk of flooding, the Environment Agency is urging everyone to prepare for winter by checking online if they are at risk of flooding, and signing up to free flood warnings.

John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said:

Flooding is an ever present risk and everyone has a part to play in protecting themselves. You can find out if you are at risk online, and sign up to free flood warnings, which provide vital time for people to get themselves, their loved ones and their possessions out of harm’s way.

Simple actions such as moving possessions upstairs before a flood can save an average of £6000 in damages, so the notice that a flood warning can give is really important.

The Environment Agency is spending more than £2.5billion to build flood schemes around the country, which will better protect 300,000 homes by 2021. Ahead of this winter it has also invested in more temporary flood barriers and high volume pumps which can be used at short notice right across the country – further improving the Environment Agency’s rapid flood response.

Notes to editors

  • 59% of renters aged 18-24 say they have moved 3 or more times in the last 5 years, which is double the rate of the average renter [Source: YouGov/Shelter].

  • 48% of 16-24 year olds live in rented accommodation [Source: DCLG English Housing Survey 2015] 105,000 young people (18 – 34) live in areas at medium or high risk of flooding [Source: Environment Agency/IPSOS]

  • 1 in 6 properties in England is at risk of flooding [Source: Environment Agency]

  • To prepare for winter, over a third of students (34%) had bought an item of winter clothing, but just 1 per cent has checked the flood risk in their local area.

  • Around one in six students (16%) said that having their home flood was the 1 thing that they were most frightened of.

  • Students were 5 times more likely to stockpile food in preparation for winter than to check their flood risk (1% vs 5%).

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample sizes were 2,098 and 2006 adults.

  • Fieldwork was undertaken between 11 and 12 October 2016 and 14 and 17 of October 2016 respectively. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 

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