SEPA publishes plans to deliver flood warning service over next 5 years

  08 February 2017
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has launched its Flood Warning Development Framework for 2017 – 2021 at Scotland’s annual Flood Risk Management Conference today (Wednesday 8 February).

Last year Scotland experienced some of its most severe flooding with storms Desmond, Eva and Frank causing sustained and persistent rainfall from December 2015 into January 2016.

Flood forecasting and warning is an essential service to help communities be aware and prepared for flood events such as those witnessed last year, and can help reduce the impact which flooding has on people’s lives.

The Flood Warning Development Framework sets out a number of actions which SEPA, as Scotland’s flood warning authority, plans to take in partnerships with others to maintain and develop this service over the coming years:

  • A      total of 14 new flood warning schemes will be added to SEPA’s Floodline      service over the next five years.
  • Six of      these flood warning schemes will be launched later this year, along Loch      Lomond, River Leven and River Garnock in Ayrshire, River Cree, Esk and      Upper Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, and in Airth and Alloa along the      River Forth.
  • SEPA      will review and develop existing flood warning products and services,      including the introduction of a public version of the daily Flood Guidance      Statement which is delivered in partnership with the Met Office and is      currently issued to over 500 civil contingency responders.
  • SEPA      will continue to engage with partner organisations including local      authorities and work with the public to improve understanding and use of      its flood warning products and services.

Pascal Lardet, SEPA’s Flood Unit Manager said:

As many residents and businesses across Scotland know, flooding can cause severe impacts. For example, many people were affected by flooding during the succession of storms which battered Scotland over the festive period of 2015.

“With timely warnings, people are aware of the threat and can take actions to protect themselves; so it is important we continue to maintain, develop and broaden our service across Scotland.

“The Flood Warning Development Framework outlines the steps SEPA will take over the next five years to continue to improve the essential service we provide to the people of Scotland. It is important to remember that it is never too early to sign up to Floodline and be prepared to take action.

“Our Floodline customers receive free advance notification when flooding is predicted, providing crucial time to prepare and protect themselves against the disruption and damage which flooding can cause.

“Over 26,000 people are currently registered to receive direct notification of flooding from SEPA, and there are many more people who use the service by checking SEPA’s website or calling Floodline. We will continue to work with our partner organisations and communities across Scotland to ensure more people take advantage of this important service.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

The launch of this framework and new flood warning schemes will help people and communities prepare for flooding. Being prepared is crucial because if individuals can understand flood risks they can take the necessary actions to protect themselves, their property or their businesses.

“The Scottish Government is committed to working to reduce flood risk across Scotland and has committed £420 million over the next 10 years to protect homes in many of our most flood-prone areas. I would urge people to prepare for flooding by monitoring SEPA’s Floodline website for the latest flood information and signing up to get Floodline warnings direct to their mobile phone.”

Kirsty MacRae, Director of the Scottish Flood Forum said:

We see all too often the devastating impact that flood waters have on people’s homes and lives. The flood warnings provided by SEPA are a key element in enabling people to prepare and to minimise the impact of any flooding on their homes and businesses. We are therefore delighted that additional communities will benefit from improved flood warnings over the coming years. The Scottish Flood Forum website provides information on what people can do to protect their property from flooding so they are ready, if and when a warning comes.”