Background: In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic the Scottish Flood Forum (SFF) undertook a survey to identify the impact of COVID-19 on community resilience to flooding. The key objective of the survey was to better inform the support needed for these community groups to prepare and respond to flooding during the lockdown and in the future. This report provides a summary of the survey responses.
Methods: An online survey was shared through relevant networks by the SFF between 15th and 28th May 2020 and the results of the survey analysed by independent researchers from the University Stirling in June 2020.
Results and Conclusions: The survey highlighted that there has been a lack of formal guidance about how to respond to flooding during Covid-19 from official agencies. However, there has been a positive community response to the pandemic through helping with wider community initiatives and support. While volunteering numbers are up and the communities have responded positively to the emergent challenges, there remain risks that given the low level of flooding during this period that unless changes are made (and supported), there could be negative consequences from future flooding events in our ‘new normal’ of continued social distancing and shielding of vulnerable people.
Our recommendations for the SFF include: • Identify and offer coordinated COVID-19 resilience and safety support to flood risk community organisations • Continue to offer peer to peer networking and learning opportunities for flood risk communities • Ensure the SFF is COVID-19 resilient to continue supporting flood risk communities • Support communities to consider widening their volunteer base to include those not in a COVID-19 vulnerable or shielded category • Offer SFF support with key agencies to help flood risk communities review and update community flood resilience plans to take into account the “new normal” • Develop and implement a campaign with Local Authorities, Scottish Government, SEPA and others that highlights winter 2020 COVID-19 resilient flooding preparedness • In collaboration with communities identify the new learning needs from the above plans and help support delivery of these • Offering where capacity allows, support to key agencies to develop community resilience in non-flood risk communities who responded to COVID-19.
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