What is Resilience?
There are four main approaches you can take to reduce the impact of flooding on your home or business, which are:
- Resistance Measures
- Recoverability Measures
- Groundwater Protection Measures
- Community Flood Protection Measures
Resistance measures are designed to keep water out of your property. This is done by blocking all openings around the ground level of a property and preventing water from being allowed to seep through. This will include all openings, such as doorways and windows, as well as pipe and service entry points around the outside of the building. If there is even one place that water can enter the property, the resistance approach will fail and water will still enter the property.
This approach is only recommended to a maximum depth of 0.6m, as floods of depths exceeding this may cause structural damage to some properties. Flood resistance measure cover a range of products in order to seal all apertures around the edge of a building. A key example of this would be the use of flood proof doors – shown below as used in the Flood Resilient Repair Project.
Flood recoverability measures are not designed to keep water out of your property but are installed to try and reduce the impact of a flood. This can be done by incorporating water proof surfaces into your home and making some design changes that would limit the impact of flooding. This includes resilient kitchens that are designed to cope with the impact of flooding, including the raising of any electrical kitchen appliances and sockets. This means that in the event of a flood above the height of your resistance measures the damage to the building from floodwater will be limited. You will therefore be able to return to your homes and businesses much quicker.
Groundwater Protection Measures
Groundwater flood protection measures will prevent rising groundwater from damaging a property from beneath. This type of flooding is caused by rising water from the ground. It will often affect lower lying areas as water will flow downhill, this is determined by the geology of an area. These areas can also be affected by other types of flooding too.
Groundwater protection measures will prevent rising groundwater from entering a property from below. An example of groundwater protection is an impermeable membrane beneath the floors of your building.
Community Flood Protection Measures
Community flood protection measures are larger barriers usually offering resistance protection for several individual properties or a small area. This could include measures such as a large scale fixed (or even temporary) flood protection barrier along the edge of a river for example. These barriers range in scale depending on the type of flood risk and the area that they are protecting. From boundary walls around small groups of properties right up to major flood barriers – such as the Thames Barrier. An example of community flood protection can be seen in the image on an embankment below.
These are normally funded by a regional environmental protection organisation. For the UK, this includes: the Environment Agency (EA) for England; the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) for Scotland; Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for Wales; and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland. While the decision to implement these measures does fall to the regional organisation, as homeowners and business owners, you can write to your local authority to ask for these measures to be considered around your property.
Flood Guard, image copyright owned by Aquobex