BYFLEET was the stage for a summit of local and national authorities on Tuesday as residents attempt to better prepare themselves against floods.
The Environment Agency, along with Elmbridge Borough Council, the National Flood Forum, and Surrey County and Woking Borough Councils hosted the meeting at St Mary’s Church to provide specialist advice and information to locals.
Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, Ian Tomes, described the meeting as an opportunity for people who have been affected by flooding to share their experiences. Byfleeters were forced to flee their homes over Christmas as heavy rain turned streets into rivers.
Mr Tomes added: “While we can’t control the likelihood or frequency of extreme weather events, we can help people to be better prepared for any future event by providing the best-up-to-date and accurate information we can.
“We are working hard to support all those who have been affected by the recent flooding by listening to their experiences and addressing their concerns.
“This information is valuable and will help inform our future work. By working with the community and local partners, we can work collaboratively to deliver more effective community resilience in the future and provide greater access to resources, support and information.”
Surrey County Council were on hand to offer guidance on grants and council tax rebates to help with the costs of cleaning up after a disaster. The NFF, who provide recovery services across the country and visit flood-affected communities, were also dishing out advice.
The NFF works to support the recovery of victims, to improve resilience of communities to future threat, and speaks out to highlight the plight of those ravaged by natural disasters and the need for adequate flood prevention investment. The group was set up in 2002.
Visitors spoke to specialist advisors about their issues, including information on insurance and products they can buy to safeguard their homes.