The new document highlights the need to have a more effective flooding policy.

RSPB report to MPs on recent flooding

Dr Rebecca Sandover from Geography at the University of Exeter has contributed to an RSPB agenda-setting document that was launched in parliament on Wednesday 26 November 2014 with a meeting hosted by West Country MP Tessa Munt.

The document, 'Flooding in Focus: Recommendations for more effective flood management in England', highlights the importance of bringing disparate voices together in seeking a way forward for effective flooding policy. The chief executive of the RSPB, Mike Clarke, said that flooding has been put in the ‘too difficult to tackle box’ and the flooding crisis in Somerset early in 2014 demonstrated this inadequate response. The report brings together a range of flood specialists, local voices and social researchers exploring the social impacts of flooding.

Dr Sandover’s report highlights the effective use of social media by local community groups in response to the flooding crisis of early 2014. It highlights the potential of social media in enabling channels of communication between local communities and agencies to effect emergency response in the face of crises.

She recommends that public bodies implement strategies that take advantage of the benefits that social media can bring to community response during floods and other crises situations.

Dr Sandover said: “Social media was successfullly used by switched-on communities to create self-help strategies in the face of the Somerset flooding crisis. However it also created a channel of communication with disparate experts and agencies. This is helping to shape policies going forward.”

Date: 27 November 2014

Read more University News