Intervention 7 Enhance early warning and preparedness for floods and heatwaves
Aim: To reduce the numbers of people impacted by flooding and overheating by investing in early warning and preparedness, and defences, with a focus on the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Background: Glasgow City Region is affected by periodic extremes of heavy rainfall and storms, creating coastal, river and surface floods. These are projected to increase in future, and additional risks are likely to emerge, such as increased heat extremes. The challenge: Despite efforts to reduce flood risks, the number of homes and businesses at risk has continued to rise. The Second National Flood Risk Assessment 22 shows we have 79,200 homes at 0.5% risk of flooding in any year and this could rise to 100,700 homes by the 2080s due to climate change. Similarly, 15,270 businesses face the same level of risk, and this could rise to 18,700 by the 2080s. In the absence of further measures, insurance will also become more costly and could lead to problems of affordability. Flooding has a devastating impact on people’s lives, physical and mental health, and livelihoods as well as the wider economy. Flood protection involves public good characteristics and there are good reasons for public investment. However, there is also a role for homeowners and businesses to protect themselves from flooding and build personal resilience to impacts. There are important linkages here to insurance, and the need to ensure the benefits it provides in a changing climate. These additional areas can help deliver a more economically efficient approach to reduce flood risks, with a combination of early warning, preparedness and increased resilience of households, communities and business, and continuation of insurance. In the decades to come heatwaves are projected to emerge as a new risk for Glasgow City Region, especially in the large urban towns and city where there is a heat-island effect. This will have potentially major impacts on health, well-being and economic productivity. Whilst they need different responses, there is also a need to ensure infrastructure is built (or retrofitted) to be able to cope with future unprecedented higher temperatures. Where we are now: Under the Clyde and Loch Lomond Flood Risk Management Strategy 23 , the roll out of Local Flood Risk Management Plans, and Flood Protection Schemes and Works in Glasgow City Region has continued, but less work has been undertaken to address complementary risk reduction measures. Scottish Government’s Living with Flooding: Action Plan 24 is setting out a range of actions to help promote property flood resilience, and whilst SEPA’s Floodline system works to warn communities of flood risk, it does not currently cover surface water flooding. Over 27,000 properties are projected to benefit from installing resistance (preventing water entering a property) or resilience (reducing recovery time) measures. 25 Some local authorities, such as the Borders, and Dumfries and Galloway, have begun providing subsidized property level protection, but this is not a universal approach.
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