This week is Bedfordshire Flood Preparedness Week, where local partners including Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue will be giving out advice to help people get ready for, and stay safe during a flood.
This week coincides with the Environment Agency's national Flood Action Week.
Last year, Bedford Borough experienced flooding over Christmas and those who suffered will know how disruptive it can be. With incredible community spirit and comradeship shown over that difficult period, people were kept safe.
Now we are approaching winter, this is a great time to take a moment and consider if you are at risk of flooding, and think what measures you can take to keep yourselves, your family and your property safe.
Throughout the week, these organisations will be sharing advice on how to know your flood risk from the river or from surface water, how to get prepared for a flood, what you can do to help your community for example by joining or setting up a flood group, and who to contact during a flood.
There will also be advice for those who live on the riverside, or who have ditches or watercourses going through their land and what their responsibilities are.
During Bedfordshire Flood Preparedness Week, alongside sharing advice about flooding and what you can to do keep yourself and your home safe, Bedford Borough Council are also hosting an online Flood Forum on Tuesday. This will review the flooding from December 2020, and update on the work that has been undertaken during 2021. The Forum is also an opportunity for local communities to find out more about flooding and flood risk. If you would like to attend please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alongside partners from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue, members of the Council's emergency resilience team will be in Harpur Square on Friday from 12pm-2pm to answer any questions and provide information about flooding, flood risk and measures you can take.
Superintendent Steve Ashdown, Bedfordshire Police said "We were quite fortunate last year that while a number of properties were affected, no-one was seriously injured. While this was the first flood of its type for around 20 years, we know that the environment is changing and it is fair to assume we can expect more wet weather and the frequency of such issues to increase in the future. Of course we will continue to work with partners to help in these times, but I would encourage people to make plans of what they will do in a flooding emergency such as moving property upstairs and considering how they will keep their loved ones safe."
Rob Hulatt, Homes Roads and Leisure Safety Manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said "It is really important if you are in a flood area that you are prepared if your house is at risk of flooding. If heavy rain is forecast in your area, you should check local news, weather forecasts and be aware of water levels near you. Be prepared to follow any plans you have made to deal with flooding in your area. If you are advised to leave your home then please follow the advice in order to keep yourself and others safe."