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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
UK 'still not ready' for floods
Flooding in Inverness
The campaign will highlight the trauma of flooding
Millions of people are still at risk of severe flooding because they have failed to heed warnings to protect themselves, the Environment Agency says.

The agency is launching its annual campaign to raise awareness of flood risks.

Earlier this month flooding and high winds were blamed for the deaths of four people in the south of England.

The agency estimates that millions of people at risk of flooding in England and Wales are still not taking enough action to protect themselves.

Flooding in Knaresborough, near York
West Yorkshire was hit by floods in February this year
Its research reveals that just one person out of 20 will take any practical steps to prepare for what the agency describes as "one of the worst natural disasters we face in the UK".

The new campaign for the autumn features press advertising and a radio campaign fronted by broadcaster John Peel.

Promotional "flood-damaged" buses and bus shelters will be used to highlight the campaign in areas of particular flood risk.

The agency will also be giving information and advice through the agency's Flood line (0845 988 1188) and its website on www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

It is also introducing a new kite mark for household flood products.

Costly deluges

Just under two weeks ago heavy rain prompted 11 flood warnings across England and Wales.

Three road accidents in the south of the England claimed four lives.

And in Continental Europe some of the worst floods on record were experienced just a month ago.

More than 10,000 homes across the UK have been hit by floods in the past 18 months.

In earlier warnings the Environment Agency predicted 10 times as many could be affected in the future.

Last year, floods cost companies an estimated 800m.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sarah Pennells
"Environment agencies have found that even in high risk areas, many people do not think their property will be affected"
See also:

20 Sep 02 | England
01 Oct 98 | UK
20 Oct 98 | Politics
16 Aug 02 | Europe
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