The coronavirus crisis has left millions of people at a greater risk from the dire consequences of flooding, says insurance giant Zurich.
The company has warned that the dry spring has now become a wet summer and with the risk of flooding continually rising communities face the risk of a double disaster of flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic. It says the Government’s current flood grants scheme is “ineffective.”
Zurich reckons up to 3.5 million households face the risk of flooding in the UK and wants the government to reform its £5,000 flood resilience grant scheme to help homeowners protect their properties against flooding now. The grant is normally paid after flooding has struck but Zurich says that’s too late. It should be proactive, not reactive.
Insurance Business UK (https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/) reports that Laura McAlpine, Zurich’s head of public affairs, said: “Hundreds of thousands of households have been left more vulnerable as a result of the worst public health crisis in a generation.
“Even relatively minor flooding would place disproportionate strain on people’s jobs, finances and mental health. If towns are hit by flooding in the coming months the impact would be magnified with particularly severe consequences for the most vulnerable in society.
“The grants should be made available all year round to help people in high flood risk areas protect their homes before flooding strikes.”
One such way is FloodSax (www.floodsax.com) alternative sandbags which are space-saving to store in homes and businesses and easy to deploy. They are vacuum-packed and resemble a large pillowcase but once they come into contact with water they inflate to weigh 20kg (44lbs) which makes them more effective than heavy, cumbersome traditional sandbags at keeping floodwater out.