Environment Agency help children to prepare for floods at school

prepare for floods

The Environment Agency are running ‘Flood Weeks’ at schools to help children prepare for floods in their local areas.

The project

The series of themed weeks which teach children how to prepare for floods, have so far involved 1,200 primary school children. The idea kicked off at North Fawdon Primary School in Newcastle in January, before moving to South Tyneside ahead of the start of Monkton flood alleviation scheme.

Community Engagement Officer Taryn Al-Mashgari, has helped youngsters develop flood plans and ‘grab bags’ so they are prepared in the event of a flood.

When asked about the project, Taryn said:

“It’s important that younger people understand what flooding is, how it happens and what the different organisations that deal with flooding do.

We also teach them how to prepare for floods in a series of interactive sessions and in turn, their parents having a greater understanding.

We know it is absolutely devastating to be flooded and that’s why we work closely with our partners to develop schemes to reduce the risk of flooding – such as the project due to start at Monkton.

But we can never completely eliminate the risk and that’s why we work hard to educate people and our future generations about what they can do to keep themselves and their valuables safe.”

Understanding the flooding

Each week ends with a community event attended by parents, Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid. The event allows the children to launch the flood plan they’ve created for their own school.

Members of the Tyne Rivers Trust as well as officers from the Environment Agency, attended St James’ RC Primary and Hebburn Lakes Primary school to give parents an overview of the project.

Prepare, Act, Survive

Taryn will visit Toner Avenue Primary School in Hebburn before moving on to Washington with flood weeks at Springwell Village and Albany Village Primary Schools.

She has also developed a teaching pack which will be delivered by secondary schools across the region as part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum.

The Environment Agency is urging people to ‘Prepare, Act, Survive’ by visiting the Floods Destroy website. The website allows users to check their postcode to find out if they are at risk of flooding, allows them to sign up for free flood warnings and provides access to the 3-point flood plan.

For more on reducing the impact of flooding, click here.


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