SEPA hosts tea-party to help elderly get flood-prepared

date23 November 2015

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Contact the Elderly hosted a special tea-party in Stirling yesterday (22 November) to help older people get flood-prepared.

Problem with ShowGallery

At the event, which was held at The Birds and the Bees in Stirling, SEPA’s flooding team explained to attendees what action they can take now to ensure they are ready in case flooding occurs this winter.

While flooding can’t be prevented entirely, signing up to SEPA’s Floodline service is an important first step in getting prepared as this provides free advance notice of flooding in your area direct to your landline or mobile phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A carer, friend or family member can also sign up on your behalf.

SEPA has published its essential guide for older communities which includes lots more useful flooding tips including:

  • Prepare a flood plan to help you think carefully about what to do in a flood event
  • Find out what help family, friends and neighbours can offer you if flooding is likely
  • Plan your escape route, particularly if you are in a bungalow
  • Learn how to shut off gas, electricity and water supplies
  • Protect your possessions by storing important items and documents well above flood level in watertight containers
  • Keep a list of useful contact numbers in your flood kit, including your GP’s surgery, family, neighbours, insurance company and utility providers

Hazel McGill, from SEPA’s Flood Unit, said:

Flooding can result in property damage and travel disruption. We are encouraging older people to take action now to ensure they are flood-prepared and to reduce the impact which flooding can have on their lives.

“It’s never too early to create your own flood plan as this will help you to keep safe and calm if flooding occurs, and you can also gain crucial time to prepare for flooding by signing up to SEPA’s free Floodline service.

“While there is much that older people can do to protect themselves from flooding we would also ask people to keep any elderly neighbours, family members or friends in mind when they prepare their flood plans. Many older people live alone, or in isolated properties, and it's important to discuss what help you could offer to them in advance of a flood event."

Morna O'May, East of Scotland Development Officer at Contact the Elderly, said:

We would like to offer our thanks to SEPA for hosting a wonderful tea party and for providing the older people we support with important flood awareness information.

"Older people who live alone are particularly vulnerable when bad weather strikes so that is why it is so important that charities, agencies and other partners work together to offer much-needed help and advice.

"Our Sunday afternoon tea parties once a month offer a vital lifeline of friendship to older people at risk of social isolation and are possible thanks to our volunteers in Stirling and Kippen."

Through the Floodline service SEPA currently provides advance flood warnings for 269 areas across Scotland. People can sign up to receive free notifications of flood warning messages direct to their choice of mobile or landline numbers at or by calling 0345 988 1188.

For more information on how to be ready for winter visit: You can also follow @readyscotland on Twitter and visit:


About the Floodline

Anyone – including those who live in, work or travel through areas at risk of flooding – can sign up to SEPA’s Floodline service and receive details on the likelihood and timing of any potential flooding threat. This ensures everyone in Scotland can get the benefit of SEPA’s extensive flood forecasting expertise and monitoring networks.

Flooding advice videos can also be viewed on SEPA’s YouTube site: 

Types of flooding

Flooding can be caused by a number of sources; river flooding, coastal flooding; surface water flooding in heavy downpours, when the ground can’t absorb any more water and from blocked drains overflowing.

About SEPA  

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s environmental regulator and Scotland's flood warning authority. SEPA’s flood warning service includes Floodline; a 24 hour telephone and online information service covering all of Scotland. To operate the service, SEPA monitors river levels, rainfall, tidal predictions and weather forecasts. SEPA is also responsible for providing advice to local authorities on flood risk for planning purposes and for the national co-ordination of flood risk management planning in Scotland and the production of national flood hazard and risk maps.

About Contact the Elderly

Contact the Elderly is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people. Supported by a network of volunteers, the charity organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people, aged 75 and over, who live alone. Offering a regular and vital friendship link every month.