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Are you flood ready? - What kinds of flood risk do we face in our own school and homes?

Are you flood ready?

This lesson looks at the flood risk to your school and home.

Key questions

  • What are the flood risks to your school?
  • What are the flood risks to your home?
  • What damage can water do to your home and personal items?

Key concepts

  • Place
  • Scale
  • Environmental interaction
  • Cultural understanding and diversity

What are the flood risks to your home and school?

Five million people live under the threat of flooding from rivers and coasts, that's one in ten houses in the UK. 200,000 of those are at very high risk, meaning that they have a one in 75 chance of flooding each year. However, this does not include the risk of flooding from plumbing, which affects every household. In spite of this, 40% of people in the UK do not have household insurance. On top of this, the Environment Agency warns that many vital services have been built on flood plains and are at risk from inundation. This includes:

  • Two thousand two hundred and fifteen power stations
  • Seven hundred and thirty seven sewage and water treatment sites
  • Four hundred and one schools
  • Six hundred and eighty health centres
  • Ninety nine police stations
  • Eighty six fire stations
  • Eighty two telephone exchanges
  • Forty six ambulance stations
  • Thirteen hospitals

(Figures from The Independent website: "Flood risk to power, schools and hospitals").

What damage can water do to your home and personal items?

Even a small amount of water can cause a lot of damage to properties. As little as 2.5 cm of water can damage cellars, walls, drainage, electricity, plaster, skirting boards, doors, radiators and window frames; damage totalling in the region of £16,750 and taking 55 days to repair.

At depths of 100cm, additional parts of the property to be damaged will include gas, sockets and wiring, wall paper, kitchen units, appliances, plumbing, doors, stairs, soft furnishings and contents. At this depth, the damage is likely to cost around £37,300 and take 76 days to repair.

According to the Aviva website, taking flood resilient measures within your home could save you £4,500 and 27 days of repair time for a flood of 2.5cm, and £23,100 and 42 days of repair time for a flood of up to one metre.





What's our risk?

Quickly remind yourself of the meaning of the term risk by having another look at the risk interactive activity or the risk PowerPoint from last lesson.

Now take a look at the maps of the school and its surroundings that your teacher provides. Can you identify any reasons why your school might be at risk of flooding? The what is our risk task sheet explains what you should do to identify this risk, and gives you some exercises to complete.

The Environment Agency has produced Flood Maps for the whole country to show the risk of river and coastal flooding. Visit the Environment Agency website and type in the postcode of your school. Compare the map that appears to your own findings. You can also check out whether your home is in a flood risk area.



What damage would water do to our school or homes?

Watch this video clip which shows the damage that a few centimetres of floodwater can do to a home.

You are now going to do your own flood damage risk assessment of your classroom, or another area that your teacher has chosen. Download the risk assessment form which gives you guidelines on completing the risk assessment and a grid to fill in. If you have some photos of the downstairs rooms in your home, you can complete a risk assessment for them, too.

Share your findings with the rest of the class.

What does the risk assessment tell you about the potential for flood damage in the area you surveyed?

Does 100cm of water do 100 times more damage than one centimetre?

Or can small amounts of water still do a lot of damage?



Irreplaceable items

Which of your possessions would be impossible to replace, even with insurance money? Watch the irreplaceable items slideshow to give you some ideas. Why should home owners in areas with a flood risk think carefully about where they store their valuable items?

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