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Shropshire environmental consultancy urges homeowners to be flood aware

A leading environmental consultancy has urged Shropshire homeowners to check their insurance policies after government warnings were issued about the risk of flooding this winter.

GeoSmart Information, which is a UK leader in producing proprietary flood data, homeowners should prepare if they are at risk from flooding from any source – whether groundwater, surface runoff or from nearby water sources, such as rivers.

As Flood Action Week gets under way, Dr Paul Ellis, of Shrewsbury-based GeoSmart Information, also said people who were looking to buy a home should check if the property they are interested in is at risk.

“We share the concern about the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in the region,” he said.

“Flood is a complex risk, with several components, and it is important to understand these so that mitigation, such as installing defence barriers, or other action, such as building specialist drains in gardens, is appropriate.

“Groundwater, for example, is likely to affect cellars for an extended period, while flash floods, which are usually caused by rain, are likely to be rapid and localised, and there are different fixes for the types of flooding that a property may be at risk of.

“This risk is likely to increase over the foreseeable future and we urge everyone to follow the flood guidance issued by the Environment Agency as a basic step.

“People should check their insurance policies have been renewed, and make themselves aware of the Flood Re scheme if their current insurer is not offering flood cover.”

GeoSmart Information, which was established in 2013, has a strong technical base and a successful flood and environmental reports business that is used by commercial enterprises and in millions of domestic conveyances.

Last year, it launched FloodSmart Analytics – a risk data product that addresses the need for better information and supports our expert advice.

As well as enabling insurers, risk managers and mortgage lenders to accurately assess flood risk at even single building level, it also provides high-definition analysis for flood depths, probabilities and the costs of flooding from river, coastal, surface water and groundwater sources, including climate change impacts.

GeoSmart’s data is already relied on by multiple sectors, from millions of home-owners to corporate entities and public sector operators, and the data have supported research by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change.

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Dr Paul Ellis, MD of GeoSmart Information

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Notes to editors

GeoSmart has been collecting and providing data, producing models and advising a wide range of clients – large utilities, local government, corporates and by millions of individual home buyers – for more than two decades. GeoSmart is a UK leader in understanding the technical side of floods and provides expert engineering solutions and supports property developers, architects, planning consultants, insurance providers, lawyers, local authorities and infrastructure owners in managing the impact of environmental risks, including historical legacy sites and future climate change. The team includes specialists in flood risk, drainage and contaminated land. It is an associate member of the Council of Property Search Organisations (COPSO) and is registered with the Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB) as a subscriber to the Search Code. In the UK and elsewhere, flood risk presents particular challenges to the finance sector: ∙ Huge sums insured – probable maximum loss (PML) inflation risk in ‘new normal’ climate ∙ Flood and duration impact – acute and chronic impacts can combine with large cost implications ∙ Timing mismatch between sector business models – finance (up to 25 years) and insurance ( usually 1 year) ∙ Customer/Client relationships – need shared understanding of who carries or finances the risk. Who is there for the long term? ∙ Beyond the balance sheet – understanding impact of public works (defences etc.) on resilience of private assets and financial exposure

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