When a property is flooded the impacts on the family and home can be traumatic. The urgent need is to get people home as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this means dealing with a lot of complex issues, insurance, repairs, drying out the property and the list could go on.
If we expand this experience to a neighbourhood, or to many properties being flooded, the collective needs of the community are multiplied many times over. Now it’s the whole community that is affected, not just a few homes and this can have longer term impacts on the recovery process.
The Scottish Flood Forum has worked in many situations from supporting just a few flooded properties to many thousands of properties – the experience and expertise we have gained over the past 13 years through our community flood support is unique.
Where many properties are flooded, our recovery support works best when we work in partnership with both communities and Local Authorities, as an integrated recovery operation. However we know that however large or small, a community needs immediate and specific long term support, both to recovery and to investigate what they can do to lessen the problem in the future.
We offer this expertise to any community who requests it. Just contact us for further information.
Advice on starting a community resilience group
Often the best way for a community to respond to flooding is by forming a Community Resilience Group to share concerns, discuss and agree what action can be taken to help your community increase its resilience to flooding and other risks.
The SFF has helped many community resilience groups to set up throughout Scotland in flood risk areas. Click here to see if there is already a group we are supporting in your area. We can provide a range of independent support to start, sustain and develop your group with practical support advice and information. So, if you are thinking of forming such a group, then we can help you work through the steps you need to take – from gaining wider support within your community, to publicity to holding your first meeting Our resources section has information on starting a group and some useful templates for you; or get in touch for a chat about what other support we can offer.
Training and support for existing groups in flood risk areas
If you already have a group up and running – whether formal, informal or part of a Community Council – the SFF can provide a wide range of support and training, tailored to your needs as a flood risk community. This can include chairing skills advice, property flood protection advice and exhibitions, developing community resilience plans, building links with your local authority and other agencies and much more. Contact us directly for more information.
We also hold a quarterly networking event for community resilience group chairs and others to come together and share knowledge and lessons learnt; we circulate a regular newsletter and stay in regular contact with the groups that we support.
When finding out what grants are available for your group – whether to buy equipment or for other uses, and filling out the right forms in the right language – it can be difficult to know where to start. The SFF are linked into national funding updates and receives regular information so we can get the right information out to flood risk communities. We can also provide limited review and editing support to your funding applications and raise awareness of available grants via our newsletter. Get in touch for a chat about what support we can offer.
Sometimes an independent voice can help find a way through difficult conversations especially if you and your community have been flooded. If you are struggling to have a constructive conversation with the person or organisation you believe is responsible for the flooding, we may be able to help. Our mediation service is considered on a case-by-case basis and we will discuss with you whether we are able to help, and if not suggest alternative options. Just get in touch to discuss further.
Property level flood protection advice
The Scottish Flood Forum can arrange a community Property Flood Protection Exhibition to show householders what options are available to help you reduce flood risks at your homes and can arrange to carry out assessments of individual homes on request.
SFF experience and evidence shows that property flood protection tends to function best when it is supported by wider community action to build resilience to flooding – such as, developing a community resilience plan. Contact us directly for more information.
For example, a community group can be well positioned to set up a Bulk Buying Scheme for protection measures making sure all members of the group or community get the best price possible from the suppliers. The SFF can advise on setting up such a scheme so do get in touch for more information.
Templates and guides
We provide a small number of templates and guides on line to help you get started as a group. Please browse our resources section for more information.