By Molly Flynn, Community Flood Resilience Coordinator at Cornwall Community Flood Forum
BeFloodReady is a campaign launched by the Defra funded and Environment Agency supported Southwest Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Pathfinder Project. Property Flood Resilience, or PFR, is the term used to describe measures that help to reduce flood risk to people and property. Using PFR enables households and businesses to reduce the damage caused by floods, making the process of recovery and reoccupation easier. The aim of the overall project was to increase the awareness and uptake of PFR measures in both residential and commercial settings across the Southwest.
The project ran until September 2021, but the BeFloodReady campaign will ensure that it will have a long-lasting impact on residents, businesses and communities at flood risk beyond September. Various legacy materials and tools were produced throughout the duration of the project which we would like to share with you in this guest blog!
You may be familiar with the various training resources which Communities Prepared can offer to support community volunteers and community resilience professionals. The original volunteer flood warden training series was developed within one of 13 Defra funded flood resilience Pathfinder projects with the support of CCFF. Throughout the 1st phase of Communities Prepared, these resources were advanced and are now recognised nationally as an example of best practice. The BeFloodReady team were keen to bring together the knowledge, skills and experience of CCFF and Communities Prepared to develop a new ‘Understanding Property Flood Resilience’ guide. With input from Cornwall Council, Environment Agency, JBA Consulting and Devon Communities Together, this popular booklet can be accessed via the BeFloodReady website, or you can request a hard copy from CCFF. The purpose of this guide is to introduce Property Flood Resilience (PFR) and how it can be used to manage flood risk to homes and businesses.
To accompany the newly developed booklets, BeFloodReady created online awareness raising workshops which were held over summer 2021. These were open to individuals and communities across Devon & Cornwall and featured a short presentation covering topics such as Climate Change, Community Flood Groups and, of course, PFR. This presentation is free to view online by clicking here. A local flood risk consultant then provided a live demonstration of some of the various PFR measures which are on the market today. In Cornwall, over 33 different communities were represented at these workshops with feedback showing that all felt the content was relevant to them and their community; many many even said they would now consider installing PFR in their homes!
In Summer 2021, the SW PFR Pathfinder project launched a specially commissioned Aardman Animations short film – ‘BeFloodReady- Missy’s Tale’. Aardman Animations are the world famous, four times Academy Award® winning animation studio, creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts and Chicken Run, to name but a few. This excellent short film promotes the BeFloodReady brand for PFR. The film received 3,200 views on Aardman’s Twitter page alone in just the first 5 hours post release and will continue to be shared widely to raise awareness of flood risk and how PFR can help reduce the damage and stress caused by flooding. You can watch Missy’s Tale by clicking on the following link: BeFloodReady: Missy’s Tale by Aardman Animations – YouTube.
Molly Flynn is Cornwall Community Flood Forum’s (CCFF) Community Flood Resilience Coordinator. Molly has been with CCFF for over 2 and a half years after completing a BSc degree in Geography and MSc in Volcanology. Molly helps CCFF to raise flood risk awareness across Cornwall, support communities in becoming better prepared and promote a partnership approach to flood risk management and community engagement.
CCFF have been on the steering board and a project partner for Communities Prepared since its pilot phase in the South West of England. CCFF has also been a delivery partner in the Southwest Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Pathfinder Project, led by Cornwall Council on behalf of all the Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) in the Southwest Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (SWRFCC) region. As part of this project, the team have developed the ‘BeFloodReady’ brand to help provide information and guidance on PFR to individuals, businesses and communities in the Southwest.