Borderers can get flood warnings direct to phones

A NEW state-of-the-art service was launched today on Monday which will provide the earliest possible warning for residents living in communities threatened by river or coastal flooding in the Borders.

The new Scotland-wide Floodline direct warning service aims to give the 5,496 at-risk residents living in the Borders valuable time to take action and protect their families, homes and businesses.

Speaking at the launch event, Environment and Climate Change Minister Roseanna Cunningham MSP described it as an “essential tool” and urged people to sign up for the free warnings, which will be sent to registered mobile phones and landlines.

Funding from the Scottish Government has enabled SEPA to develop and run the new direct warning service, which is a significant improvement to the existing Floodline recorded telephone and website facility.

Previously the Scottish public relied on hearing about flooding through the media, by word of mouth, through local services or by contacting SEPA’s 24-hour recorded telephone service.

Now anyone living in the Borders – including those who live in, work or travel through areas at risk of flooding – can sign up to the new service and receive details on the likelihood and timing of any potential flooding threat. This ensures everyone can get the benefit of SEPA’s extensive flood forecasting expertise and monitoring networks.

Service improvements include:

·New easy-to-understand flood warning symbols which make it clear what action people should take, and when.

· The creation of more than 200 smaller, local flood warning areas to provide more meaningful and targeted information. ·New Floodline quick dial codes allow users to quickly access the information relevant to them.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, the first to sign up to the new service, said: “The Floodline direct warning service is a quick and up to date way of making sure that communities know about the risk of flooding in their area as soon as possible, giving them more time to prepare and protect themselves.

“I want as many people as possible to sign up to this free service and improve their resilience to flooding. This is not just about homes as the benefits apply equally to businesses and we have recently seen that they can be disrupted by flooding too.

“Coupled with the new Scottish Flood Forecasting Service, which gives emergency responders better and earlier information, Floodline means that the people of Scotland will benefit directly from the £9 million we’ve invested in these innovative approaches.”

Professor James Curran, SEPA’s Director of Science and Strategy, said: “The improvements we have made to Floodline are a huge step forward in terms of flood warning for Scotland. Making it easier for people to help themselves is a key part to this, and signing-up to Floodline’s direct warning service can be done online, by phone or by filling-in a registration form. In fact we’re sending thousands of these directly to properties in flood warning areas, so look out for these valuable envelopes, use their contents and if you receive a flood warning message – take action!”

People can sign up now by visiting www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/signup