Experts warn of widespread flooding after Christmas, as people in risk areas are urged to protect valuable souvenirs from downpours.
Environment agency John Curtin, Executive Director of Operations, explained how teams across the country are poised to deal with floods in a Covid-safe manner.
The water table is slightly above normal and there isn't much capacity in the soil to hold more rain, leaving the land more "in the gift of the weather," Curtin said.
John Curtin, Executive Director of Operations for the Environment Agency, explained how teams across the country are poised to deal with floods in a Covid-safe manner. Pictured: Hereford resident is rescued after Storm Dennis in February
He added, "We have done a lot of preparation and testing to make sure we can still respond this winter in Covid conditions, but it's really important that people prepare for their own flood risk."
Mr. Curtin urged people to check if they are at risk and prepare for possible floods, protect valuable mementos like old photos, and lessen the psychological effects of the trauma of the flood.
The environmental agency has 40km of temporary flood barriers and 250 high volume pumps ready to go along with 1,500 military personnel and 6,500 EA staff trained to deal with floods this winter.
The water table is slightly above normal and there isn't much capacity in the soil to hold more rain, leaving the land more "in the gift of the weather," Curtin said. Pictured: York after the River Ouse burst its banks in November
Mr Curtin also warned of the challenge of keeping pace with the rapidly increasing flood risk of climate change.
Will Lang, head of the civil contingent liabilities bureau, said that after a choppy December with rain and wind, there will be colder and drier weather over Christmas and into the new year for the next week.
"In addition, our long-range projections for January and February keep suggesting that wetter, windier, milder conditions are more likely than normal, so the wet weather will return," he said.
Mr Curtin also warned of the challenge of keeping pace with the rapidly increasing flood risk of climate change. Pictured: York after the River Ouse burst its banks in November
Dr. Lang urged that the forecast should be taken seriously despite the uncertainty. in more wet weather in addition to the current conditions.
He explained how that The environmental agency had carried out repairs or taken action to protect communities where defenses were damaged by floods, caused by record wetness in February that flooded 8,000 properties.
Storms Aiden and Alex earlier this year allowed teams to test their response in Covid-19 conditions, including safely laying out kits, setting up virtual incident rooms, and using local support to avoid people around the world Land to be moved, he said.
Dr. Lang urged that the forecast should be taken seriously in addition to the current conditions, despite the uncertainty in more wet weather. Pictured: A van got stuck in flooding after Padbury Brook blew up its banks near Buckingham in October
Local emergency teams have planned to manage evacuations in a Covid-safe manner. The potential risk of the virus is secondary to a real threat to life in a flood situation.
Mr. Cutin continued, “All of this has been rehearsed well, it's just whether people are aware of it or not.
"What we don't want is people's reluctance to leave when their lives are in danger with an imminent flood. They worry about the risk of Covid. That's one of the elements we need to keep communicating this winter . "
Dr. Lang also urged people to keep up to date with weather forecasts and warnings.
He said that life changes due to the pandemic, like being less used to driving in winter conditions, could make people more vulnerable – although greater risk awareness could help prepare people better.