Going Green: Very few Brits feel they’re prepared for climate change

Trying to keep out flood water. Photo: AdobeTrying to keep out flood water. Photo: Adobe
Trying to keep out flood water. Photo: Adobe
New research published late last year has found very few Brits feel like they’re prepared for inevitable impacts of climate change that will gather pace in the coming years.

Figures collated by the Local Government Association and YouGov shows just five percent of the public believe they’re ready for what will come in the future.

This is despite the fact we’ve already had years of excess heat, flooding and storms annually with drought ridden summers, wildfires and stormy winters that have wrecked homes and businesses with flooding and damage.

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The storms this winter have been horrendous so far and we’re galloping through the alphabet when it comes to naming them – each has wreaked devastation and havoc in a different part of the country with the North being battered one week and the south the next.

It's not just the public that feel unprepared though, those in positions of power to help us get and stay prepared have had no choice but to change their plans too leaving potentially millions of people exposed to the devastating effects of adverse weather.

The Environment Agency has cut it’s forecast for properties it can protect from flooding by 40 percent, down from 336,000 to 200,000 since the Resilience to Flooding program was developed in 2020 – that’s a huge number of homes and homeowners who will be left dealing with the impossible hardships a flooded home brings.

It’s worth mentioning it’s not the Environment Agency who are at fault though – the huge inflation rates in the UK and increasing extreme weather events have left a huge gap between what they can actually do and what needs to be done.

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The EA are also in the unfortunate position of having to remove 500 of the 2000 new flood defence projects that were originally included in the programme.

It’s a difficult pun but we’re heading into a perfect storm where we have a British public who don’t feel like they’re prepared enough for the impacts of global warming, local authorities that are struggling financially and reduced programs that could potentially protect those who are at risk of flooding.

There are ways we can become empowered and help ourselves though; https://onehome.org.uk has plenty of resources with advice on what to do in adverse weather, both in terms of preparing your home before hand and dealing with the fall out after things like flooding.

Simple things like signing up to the government flood alert program: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/alerts-and-warnings will help keep you up to date should your area be at risk.

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Having a plan of what you’ll do and what furniture you can easily move upstairs will help too. A list of emergency numbers for insurance on your fridge, and researching what flood devices – things like pan seals for toilets and residential flood doors will all make a big difference should water levels start to rise at your door.

By equipping ourselves with knowledge we might be able to go some way towards mitigating what’s ahead of us and changing that five percent figure into a much higher one.