Environment Agency launches new three-tier flood warning codes

PUBLISHED: 14:35 26 October 2012

Flood alert icon - Environment Agency

Flood alert icon - Environment Agency


A three-tiered system of flood danger codes has been introduced to warn people of any predicted threats to their home.

The Environment Agency’s new system uses the terms “flood alert”, “flood warning” and “severe flood warning” to signify the level of threat in a given area.

A flood alert is the first level of danger and is put up when flooding is possible, but before any floods have been recorded, giving people the chance to prepare for future problems.

A flood warning is made when floods are expected and people should take immediate action to minimise damage.

The most dangerous level is a severe flood warning, which is raised whenever there is dangerous flooding that poses a significant risk to life or disruption to communities.

Each code is represented on the Environment Agency’s website by an icon showing house with one, two or three waves reflecting the corresponding level of the threat.

Flood alerts can be found by clicking on the map at Icons with the relevant threat level are pinned onto the map, highlighting dangers in specific areas.

By clicking on the icon, the service will then give detailed information, such as the time flooding is expected, tide heights and what locations will be affected.

David Murphy, an Environment Agency flood risk manager, said: “Measures such as the £116,000 glass panelled defences in Wells-next-the-Sea have improved the area’s flood defences.

“However, there is always a threat and the Environment Agency wants everyone to be able to read their easy-to-understand codes about flood risks.

“The new flood symbols and updated warning messages make it easier than ever for people to understand and prepare their property effectively.”

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