Disaster management is relevant at all levels and at all stages. Where OC’s base is in Solihull (England, UK) we feel a duty to also contribute locally. Solihull Council is currently consulting the public on its Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. This strategy is not just relevant in theory, as e.g. parts of Solihull experienced a considerable amount of rainfall on the evening of 1 September. The storm started without any prior alert or warning and reports from local weather stations around the Borough showed that it commenced just before 7.30pm and lasted for approximately 90 minutes. Unfortunately, during this period parts of the Borough suffered from internal and external property flooding (let the Council know if you were affected). Solihull tends to suffer from a variety of flood types, but has installed community flood risk cameras in high risk areas which allow the Council to monitor key assets in real time.
As the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Solihull, the Council is responsible for managing local flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses throughout the borough. The Local Strategy provides an overview and assessment of local flood risk, and sets out objectives and processes as to how Solihull Council states it will manage and reduce this risk. The strategy suggests that in some instances, individuals, communities and businesses (as OC we could not disagree with this of course) will be best placed to reduce the impacts of flooding and the Local Strategy is stated to help the Council to understand flood risk and the action it can and should take. The Local Strategy is stated to complement a number of other planning policies, legislative requirements and flood risk strategies, which is good as disaster management should not be a stand alone activity but is most successful when mainstreamed in all relevant policies.
All information on the consultation is available online. For anyone else based and/ or operating locally, feel free to also respond to the consultation (deadline 2 October). The Council states that responses from this consultation will be used to shape the final strategy that will be adopted by the Council.