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Researchers want to hear your experiences of flood events

Ariel image of Cockermouth following Storm Desmond, December 2015. Credit: Peter Smith [email protected]

Researchers from the University of Bath want to hear from you if you’ve been affected by flooding in your home or your local area.

The research, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, follows a series of large flood events that have affected communities across the British Isles in recent years, including the 2015-16 floods following Storm Desmond.

The researchers are now asking community members to share their knowledge about flooding events and are especially interested to hear the views of Cumbrian residents.

The study will help the researchers to understand what people think and feel about how best to respond to flood risks. The findings will contribute to improving future flood preparedness and may also help organisations and local flood action groups to engage with communities around the issue of flood risk more effectively.

The principal researcher, Niall McLoughlin, who grew up in Cumbria, said “When I saw places that I know so well hit by major flooding after Storm Desmond, I realised I wanted to understand how it can be dealt with more effectively.

“We work in the field of psychology, so unlike other research that has focused on the financial, management or physical issues around flooding, we’re asking the people directly in the communities that are on the front line of flood impacts for their views. As psychologists, we’re focused on the human side of this issue.”

The project aims to investigate which sorts of solutions to flooding people support, and whether people who are at risk feel able to cope with floods.

McLoughlin, whose ongoing Ph.D. studies are based around this work, added that “By looking at flooding with a fresh pair of eyes, from a psychology perspective, we hope to help floods managers, relevant organisations and community members to come together more effectively to deal with flooding”.

The online survey is open both to members of the public who have been directly affected by flooding, and to those who have not. Anybody who wishes to take part just need to check they meet the eligibility requirements and read over the supporting information on the survey website.

The team encourages anybody that is interested to take part in the online survey using a laptop, PC or tablet by visiting: www.ukfloods.wixsite.com/survey

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