Run round various offices at work in the morning and pick up cables, dehumidifiers, newspapers and cloth from some marvellous people happy to loan them; and a big thank you to a certain someone for the box of chocolates for my parents. My friend Simon turns up to help and by the time I arrive there is obvious progress from the day before.
Today we moved the living room to this state... which looks worse but is progress.
My first photo of my parents’ house isn’t particularly impressive. Untidy but normal, you will probably think, looking at this. But my parents are not untidy and the curtains are not normally stuffed into a canoe dry bag to keep them dry. You can also see the start of the clear up: a fold away table to put things on; a rug I brought from home to generate some more dry space; boxes and bin liners starting to appear.
The floods in the North of England, Scotland, North Wales and Northern Ireland, pose a number of questions about flood risk management and insurance that we will be investigating. One issue is effective flood defences. Those at Carlisle and Keswick in England, were put in place following the 2009 floods. In both places, the water levels overtopped the defences. For the maps we provide insurers, we need to assess whether these floods were truly exceptional events or whether they are likely to be more common as a result of climate change or other reasons.
The National Trust reported this month that over the last 10 years, 12,500 new homes have been built in coastal areas which are at risk of significant erosion or flooding and that this is despite ‘contrary guidance’.
It’s an interesting turn of events when over half your professional life is spent helping to manage the risks and uncertainties associated with floods - and then you get flooded yourself. Sunday wasn’t the first time we’ve experienced flooding at this home, though it was the first in over ten years. The impact on us and the property was minimal as no water entered the house, but the garage and gardens flooded and we were effectively marooned.
In a recent study undertaken by JBA Risk Management, findings suggest that some rapidly growing Asian cities may see increases of up to 36% in the population at risk of extreme river and surface water flooding by 2020.
It’s Labor Day in America, a national holiday in tribute to the workers who have contributed to the strength and prosperity of the country, and a celebration which dates back to 1882. Ten years ago on this day in New Orleans the hard work was just beginning to rebuild the communities and the economy of this great city post Katrina.
JBA’s Steve Maslen spends time looking at the rebuilding, talking to New Orleanians and considers any lessons for the UK.