Flood Resistance and Flood Resilience - the difference

11 December 2014

What is the difference between flood resistance and flood resilience?

Flood resistance

Put quite simply flood resistance is where every endeavour is made to totally prevent water getting into a property. The ultimate measure here is to move the affected property either vertically or away from the flooding source. which isn't really an option for the majority. So taking a step down from this we could 'bund' the individual property or estate i.e. put an embankment around it. Many UK rivers have such embankments built up along their banks to reduce the chance of what's referred to as overtopping. This happened in a number of regions during the past winter most noticeably in the South West.

Property level measures are adopted by many householders but some important aspects are often missed. Stopping the water entering at the front door is obvious but in modern cavity-walled buildings, air is allowed to access the cavity through airbricks - and so can water!!  There may also be cracks in the outside wall which will again allow the water in. Properties with ground floor toilets and even shower basins can suffer the worst kind of flooding - sewage forced up through traps as the flood levels rise. There are flood resistance products for all these scenarios.

So it takes dogged determination to plug all the holes to make your property flood resistant.  

By accepting that water WILL get into the property, you can put some effort into making it flood resilient.  

Flood resilience

Flood resilience means that you're reducing the impact that water ingress will have on your property and your business or lifestyle. Many of the resilience measures are commonsense, like making sure electrical items are above the expected flood level. But what about important documents like passports, insurance documents and the like? Have you also remembered about these?  

Be prepared and have a plan

Being prepared and having a Flood Plan will ensure you have all the necessary measures in place (including a Flood Kit) should you unfortunately have to leave the property. If you live (or work) in a flood risk area (and remember the risk could be from surface water as well as the sea, rivers and streams), flood resistance and resilience measures could certainly help you to get insurance and in some cases keep your premiums down.

Further information on flooding can be obtained from:
The Environment Agency
The National Flood Forum
Association of British Insurers

  • Know your risk
  • Be Prepared
  • Have a Plan


Free Ebook for communities: How to prepare for flooding and other emergencies.


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