“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Margaret Dole
Banner image (photo of Holyrood Parliament Banner image (photo of a delegate in a suit listening intently at a conference)
Sinking Car

“Flooding causes devastating damage to people’s homes and possessions and can leave whole communities living in fear of more bad weather. More is being spent by Government and our partners on flood risk management in this four year spending period than any other.  We have introduced a new funding model that gives local people more choice over flood protection and allows more schemes to go ahead. We now expect to exceed our goal to protect a further 145,000 homes and businesses by 2015.”

- Environment Minister, December 2012

“Flooding is terrible for anyone affected by it. We have worked extremely hard with the industry to reach an agreement on the future of flood insurance. There are still areas to work through but this announcement means that people no longer need to live in fear of being uninsurable and that those at most risk can get protection, now and in the future.”

- Environment Minister, June 2013

News - 19 Sep 2014

The people have spoken. But it's not over
Scotland's vote has opened explosive questions for UK's future More
In full: Cameron on UK future
The full text of Prime Minister David Cameron's statement after the Scottish referendum on independence on 18 September 2014. More
Cameron: Let's build a better UK
Prime Minister David Cameron says it is time for millions of voices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be heard after Scotland votes to stay in the UK. More

Event Details


Emergency Planning in a New Age of Uncertainty:
Building the Nation’s Resilience to Flooding

Date: Wednesday 18th September 2013
Time: 10:15am — 4:30pm
Venue: Broadway House, Westminster
Register your place

Key Speakers

Crystal Moore, Head of the Flood Forecasting Centre, Environment Agency
Professor Virginia Murray, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, Public Health England
Pat Boyle, Civil Contingencies Lead, The Met Office
Katherine Pygott, Associate Director and Lead, Local Flood Risk Management, ARUP


5.2m properties are at risk of flooding in England alone, with a further 357,000 vulnerable properties in Wales. There are also an estimated 200 homes in danger of complete loss to coastal erosion in the next 20 years with the possibility of 2,000 more becoming at risk in this period. As well as flooding from rivers, the sea and surface water, there are significant risks for some communities from groundwater flooding and water from failed or overflowing reservoirs, with the severity ranging from minor inconvenience to destruction of properties, businesses and livelihoods.

The Government’s first UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (January 2012) exposed the UK’s vulnerability to extreme weather and the increasing flood risk. With 2012 being the second wettest year in England since 1910, rising temperatures and sea levels associated with climate change are likely to increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and hence the spread of flood risks across the UK. There have been significant developments in improving flood defences, with Defra expected to spend over £2bn on flooding and coastal erosion over the course of the Spending Review. The Government has announced funding of £294m to be invested in flood risk management this year, with 165,000 homes now expected to be better protected by 2015 and deliver up to £1bn in economic benefits. Furthermore, the Government has reached an initial agreement with the insurance industry, which would enable people living in the most flood-prone areas to get affordable flood-insurance.

With the spectre of flooding hanging over more and more local communities, disruption leading to social and economic damage has become commonplace. To compound this, flooding is difficult to forecast and its exact timing or scale can strike with devastating consequences, most notably in 2007, provoking the largest ever civil emergency response since the Second World War. This uncertainty is one of the main challenges for policy makers and planners. Measures to prevent and control flooding require coordinated national, regional and local effort and cooperation.

This special symposium provides an invaluable platform for local authorities, emergency planning stakeholders and emergency services to discuss how the latest measures can be implemented effectively. The symposium will explore how to improve not only local resilience to flooding, but also how to develop a more robust general contingency and emergency planning framework that will enable communities to respond swiftly with strong leadership, communication and collaboration. 

Delegates will:

  • Examine the Government’s latest policy initiatives and explore strategies for UK resilience against natural hazards and improving flood defences across the country
  • Discuss key solutions to deliver excellence in emergency situations and respond to disasters effectively
  • Consider how the Government and industry can work together to address the availability and affordability of flood insurance
  • Share best practice and gain valuable insights into emergency preparedness at the local level


09:30 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:15 Chair's Welcome and Introduction

Panel Session One: 
Flood Management and Emergency Planning – Prevention, Protection and Preparedness

  • Preparedness and Responsiveness – Flooding as the Number One Risk to the UK from Climate Change, Assessing the Risks and Developing Plans for an Effective Recovery Phase
  • Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Essential Services –  Improving Overall Emergency Response Capability to Take Action Against Floods
  • Prevention, Protection and Preparedness - Ensuring Appropriate Measures are Taken to Minimise the Risk of Flooding Where New Development is Necessary
  • The Future of Flood Insurance – Addressing the Availability and Affordability of Insurance for Those Living in the Most Flood-Prone Areas
  • Impact of Exercise Watermark – Testing the Nation’s Flood Resilience, Lessons Learned from an Unexpected Emergency and Recommendations from the Environment Agency
11:15 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30 Panel Session Two:
Building Local Resilience – Working in Partnership to Safeguard Communities Against Flooding
  • Safeguarding the UK Against Flooding – Increasing Public and Personal Safety through Improved Multi-Agency Coordination, Using Social Media to Assist Efforts
  • Supporting the Community – Effectively Warning and Communicating Flood Hazards to the Public, Providing Assistance Through Evacuation to Community Assistant Centres
  • Working with the Utilities Sector to Plan and Prepare Effectively for Disasters, Protecting Essential Transport Infrastructure from Flooding
  • The Role of Local Resilience Forums and Emergency Services as First Points of Contact in a Crisis, Responding to Disasters and Ensuring Community Resilience
  • Providing Case Studies of Good Practice to Enable Communities to Implement Successful Resilience Strategies
14:15 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two
15:30 Chair's Summary and Closing Comments
15:40 Networking Reception
16:30 Close

** Please note that the programme is subject to change without notice **

Who Should Attend?

  • Emergency Planning Officers
  • FCRM Officers
  • Flood Risk Officers
  • Resilience and Disaster Recovery Officers
  • Emergency Responders
  • Flood and Water Management Officers
  • Civil Contingencies Managers
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Central and Regional Government Agencies
  • NHS Trusts and Hospitals
  • Fire and Ambulance Service
  • Police Service and Police Authorities
  • Local Education Authorities
  • Schools and Headteachers
  • Civil Defence and Emergency Planning Consultants
  • Community Safety Teams
  • Transport Operators
  • Risk Assessment Teams
  • Business Continuity Teams
  • Disaster Recovery Charities and NGOs
  • Environmental Services and Sanitary Services
  • Environmental and Utilities Service Providers
  • Environmental Health Teams
  • Water and Energy Companies
  • Planning Officers
  • Sustainability Advisers
  • Climate Change Officers
  • Energy Sector
  • Public Weather Service Advisors
  • Technology Providers
  • Insurance Industry
  • Engineering Sector
  • Regulatory Bodies
  • Road Maintenance and Improvement Teams
  • Highways and Drainage Teams
  • Housing Officers and Managers
  • Prevent Delivery Teams
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Neighbourhood Renewal Officers
  • Telecommunications Organisations
  • Private Sector
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Think Tanks
  • Academics, Analysts and Researchers


Register your place
Back to top

How to Book

Phone: 0845 606 1535
Fax:     0845 606 1539
Email: bookings.at.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk