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Community engagement and building resilience

The Scottish Flood Forum works with communities and existing resilience groups in flood risk areas to help them become resilient to future flooding events. In doing so, we support them in building resilience more widely. We are happy to discuss how our work can support you in delivering your community engagement objectives in flood risk areas through:

Building resilience – The SFF can support local authorities by engaging with communities and existing resilience groups in flood risk areas. We can offer a range of impartial assistance either to promote self-help within the community or to support partnership development.

Independent support and facilitation is a well-recognised method to enable community development which in turn can encourage the growth of self-help, community action and better awareness in flood risk communities leading to increased resilience to a number of natural hazards.

Group development – Where required, we promote the development of new community resilience groups in flood risk areas. Our approach to developing local groups always encourages communication and building constructive relationships with relevant authorities.

The SFF’s support can range from the initial community engagement to group set up and planning initial self-help actions; through to supporting development of flood warden schemes and community resilience plans, tailored training and much more.

Community flood recovery – see our Recovery flood recovery programme section below for details of our community engagement after a flood event.

Community flood recovery programme

Following a major flood event, community recovery takes many months – long after the media have moved on. The relevant local authority and Local Resilience Partnerships co-ordinate the organisational response and cover an important range of tactical and operational actions to ensure a co-ordinated response to the event, and their Care for People strategy ensures the council services mobilise to help those in need of housing or other support.

However for the wider community response, the Voluntary Sector – both formal and informal – is required to support the vulnerable; to arrange replacement furniture, clothes and other personal needs especially for those without insurance and to provide a regular and ongoing listening ear to those struggling emotionally.

With over 13 years of experience of community flood recovery and working in well over 1200 separate events across the UK, the Scottish Flood Forum team understands the value of working together in partnership with the relevant local authority and other agencies to support the needs of those who are affected by flooding. We ensure there are strong links and networking with other organisations, including the voluntary sector, to prevent duplication of service provision, leading to exchange of ideas and mutual support and problem resolution in the community.

Our unique experience and skills can co-ordinate this wider response quickly, efficiently and competently. We will operate a single point of contact, with appropriate voluntary sector resources, to respond professionally to individual and corporate needs to those affected by flooding. As part of an holistic programme we also promote the development of a community resilience programme where appropriate.

Example of a holistic recovery network

Recovery Network Example

We will also set up regular drop-in centres or flood recovery surgeries in affected communities to provide a regular opportunity to give advice and support on any issues connected with the property repair process. For example with drying out, insurance claims, builder issues and emotional well-being to mention just a few.

The overall objective of such a programme is to journey with the flood affected communities and individuals from the initial impact through recovery to resilience to leave the flood affected areas better equipped to deal with a severe weather incident. (Time scale 6 – 18 months)

Our integrated flood recovery outline gives more information of what we can offer to you during a flood event. Please do get in touch to discuss how elements of the SFF’s service could be incorporated into your Care for People plan or other response plans.

Raising flood awareness

The SFF is committed to improving understanding and raising awareness of the risks and consequences of flooding to individuals and communities throughout Scotland and facilitating effective support to them after a flood event. The SFF can provide awareness raising support in the form of literature, speakers and provide tailored information sessions to flood risk communities and responsible authorities.

We are happy to discuss with you how we can take a pro-active role in supporting your community engagement in flood risk areas and to make sure our broader activities support the delivery of your Flood Risk Management Plans, wherever possible.

Our website resources section provide a freely available resource to which you can point the public to for more information on what actions they can take.

Promoting self help

The SFF can support responsible authorities and other organisations to communicate the key self-help messages to flood risk communities. This includes advice on insurance for homes and businesses and about taking responsibility for protecting themselves and their properties.

The SFF can offer advice and support on household flood plans and property level flood protection measures that can lead to the development of individual and community resilience. We are happy to discuss with you how we can support your wider aims of promoting self-help to flood risk communities via property flood protection exhibitions or attendance at your pre-planned consultation or community engagement events.

We also promote the SEPA Floodline service.

Supporting property level flood protection schemes

Where a local authority decides to create a PLFP scheme, either by subsidising the cost of the PLFP measures, or providing bulk buying facilities for members of the public, the SFF is happy to provide its advice and experience to support community engagement as the scheme is developed. The SFF may be able to provide individual household PLFP assessment support as part of engagement activities. Contact us for more information.

Mediation support

Sometimes an independent voice can help find a way through difficult conversations between communities and your organisation. When you are dealing with hurting and angry communities struggling to have a constructive conversation with you, then we may be able to help, to intervene and find a solution. Do get in touch if support would be helpful.

Training and information sessions

The Scottish Flood Forum has provided tailored training and advice sessions to many local authorities and community organisations across Scotland. We understand the importance that knowledge and understanding of flooding impacts in both flood recovery and community resilience can have. 

Organisations we have trained range from the Red Cross, Rotary, CAB, Faith Community, Lions, Housing Associations, funding organisations, and specific Local Authority departments.

Sessions include:

  • Managing an Integrated flood recovery programme – Appreciating the importance of managing a cohesive recovery programme, what works and lessons learned
  • Recognizing the needs of a flooded community, including emotional impacts, insurance claims process and supporting people who are not insured.
  • Appreciating Recovery – six months on – recognizing that the bigger issues are not only the responsibility of the insurance industry but are slowly fragmenting the community as they try to move forward.
  • Property flood protection measures training – the answer to a cost effective protected community, all you need to know about property assessments, what can go wrong and recognizing the importance of understanding the client.
  • Setting up a community flood warden scheme – the “How to” for local authorities and communities in building resilience into your community, including full training and practical exercises for wardens.

Get in touch for more information and to discuss your requirements.

Leaflets and guides

Our leaflets guides, and templates may be useful for you in engaging with the public. – see our Resources section for more informaton