'Tis the season to be flooded' as
Flood charity's helpline gets braced for calls
A year on from the floods that deluged
communities across the North of England, that happened in December 2015, the
National Flood Forum's helpline is on standby to support people across
Lancashire who are at risk of flooding this winter.
In the eye of the 2015 winter storms, calls to the charity's helpline more than
doubled compared to the previous year and increased by a third as compared to
the devastating floods that wreaked havoc on Christmas celebrations in 2013 to
The charity's helpline provides practical and emotional support to anyone
affected by flooding and calls to the service spike in the immediate aftermath
of a flood event.
From December to January 2015/16 as Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank caused
widespread flooding, the helpline took hundreds of calls from people who were
most commonly concerned about insurance difficulties; including having no
insurance, the process of reinstating a home and financial support to help
The National Flood Forum also offers face to face support once the emergency
services have left and for the many months afterwards. In the aftermath of Storm
Desmond a team of staff from the charity undertook a 16 day tour of 20 flood hit
locations across Cumbria, in partnership with other agencies, and gave advice to
more than a thousand people with flooding concerns.
The process of recovering from a flood can take anything from 6 months to 2
years and beyond. Many of those who were affected last year are only just
returning to their homes in readiness for this Christmas.
Simon Macaulay, Managing Director of Anglo Recycling in Whitworth said:-
"Boxing Day 2015 marked our third flood in the last five years and our biggest
insurance claim yet. It's not just the financial cost though, our staff had to
cope with an awful month of clear up in January at the same time as attempting
to meet the needs of our customers. They did a brilliant job and our customers
were very understanding. But the risk of flooding is a real threat to our
business and the jobs of 50 people. So, we must do all we can to future proof
our business against this issue; and we will."
Paul Cobbing from the National Flood Forum said:- "Recovering from a flood
turns people's lives upside down. Everything that was once normal is changed.
Flood recovery is all consuming and as we approach another winter we know that
the sound of rain can send people into a panic that they may have to face it all
over again. That's why we exist as a charity; to offer our support and expertise
with everything from insurance battles, to managing the painstaking rebuild of a
home and very commonly the emotional burn out and stresses that people face."
Keith Crabtree, 68 is a flood warden. He said:- "It's no exaggeration to
use the word devastation when it comes to flooding. It's taken a good 12 months
for some to recover and I know a lot of places, homes, businesses and people are
still going through it now. The flood displaced so many people. Many are only
just moving back home. Some don't like to talk about it because it means
reliving it all over again. Flooding wipes people out."
Paul Cobbing added:- "There's no doubt that flooding is traumatic.
Experience shows that after surviving a disaster people can have a variety of
reactions. You may feel like you can cope with just one thing at a time. You
might find it hard to retain information and things that you are told. You could
feel stressed and find everyday things that you could usually deal with become
hard to cope with. You live from day to day. Planning for the future feels
impossible. You need to get through the immediacy of what's going on. All of
these reactions to being flooded are normal human responses. If you feel you
can't cope, speak out. Help and support is available."
The National Flood Forum helpline is open during office hours, Monday to Friday
and can be contacted on:- 01299 403055 or via
To support the charity's work with flooded people and communities across England
and Wales, text:- 'RAIN07' to:- '70070' to make a donation.