There are a lot of rivers in the United Kingdom and as an island state, there is also an extensive coastline. During the summer of 2007, there was an unusual amount of extreme weather which led to a lot of flooding and this resulted in over £3 billion worth of damage. As yet, the flood damage from the extensive flooding in 2012 has not been determined but you can be sure it will be a good deal more than £3 billion. The climate is changing and there appears to be a good deal more rain during the summer months. It is possible that long term, sea level will also rise and this too could lead to further flooding on coasts and up rivers. Obviously this is bad news for anyone already living in a flood zone but also bad news for those who may think that they are safe from flooding. It might be a good idea for you to perform a flood risk assessment for your property.
If you have seen the television footage and newspaper photographs over the past few months, you will be aware that there are many areas that have been hit by flooding which had previously never experienced it. Damage has occurred to roads, bridges and railways leading to disruption to transport links. In some places, the only way to get around was by boat or canoe. Homes and businesses have suffered horrendous damage with families being displaced and temporary accommodation having to be arranged. The flooding is not only devastating for those affected but it means that properties are out of commission until they have been dried out and repaired and this can take several months or even a year to complete. If you have home insurance, there is a good chance that the insurance company will pay out for the damage but if you do not have insurance, the cost could be quite horrendous.
Many properties have now found to have been built on flood plains, so it is always a good idea to check before you move in. Take a good look at where your property is, if it is near a river, the sea, a reservoir, at the foot of a hill or bank and what the local topography is. Find out if there are any flood defences in place so that in the event of heavy or prolonged rain there is a bit of protection. You can investigate flood defences and flood protection for your property yourself and this can have a big impact on preserving your property. This is particularly important if your property falls within the official flood risk area and you have difficulty in obtaining insurance cover. Most insurers will not cover properties that fall within a flood risk area or that have flooded in the past.
Unfortunately, more people will suffer from the effects of flooding even if they do not live in a known flood risk area. As we have observed this summer, even for those who live nowhere near a river, flooding can devastate their properties, so be sure to check about yours.