WEST SUSSEX, UK — The Environment Agency (EA) is ramping up its readiness for the upcoming winter months, training extensively with innovative technologies including drones, pumps, vehicles, and notably, the Geodesign Industrial Flood Barriers.
As part of the final day of "operations Certis," a major rehearsal exercise held in Shor, West Sussex, the agency's staff familiarized themselves with the tools and protocols they will need to respond swiftly to flooding events. Sir James Bevin, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, emphasized the crucial nature of these preparations, saying,
"It's really important that we're ready for the next flood event. I've seen the effects of flooding on people and property; it can really ruin lives. Our top priority is to make sure that we are ready to protect as many people as possible this winter."
Of particular interest among the technology being trained on is the Geodesign Industrial Flood Barrier. Not only is the barrier temporary and thus deployable wherever necessary, but according to Bevin, it is lighter and quicker to assemble than previous models. This agility is instrumental in EA's goal of an expedited response time, especially in locations where permanent defenses aren't feasible.
"There are many places where you can't build permanent defenses. In that case, temporary barriers like this can make a real difference,"
Sir James noted.He also shed light on the benefits of the Geodesign barriers, stating,
"The thing about these new ones that we've acquired is that they're lighter and quicker to assemble. So it will enable us to be even faster next time we need to respond."
This move towards enhanced preparedness is backed by substantial investment. Sir James mentioned that the UK government has earmarked its largest ever sum for flood defenses, investing £2.5 billion over the upcoming five years. This fund aims to support over 1,500 flood defense schemes countrywide, with a mission to better safeguard over 300,000 homes by 2021.
The commitment to readiness and proactive investment signifies EA's dedication to minimizing the impact of future floods on the British populace, with the Geodesign barriers playing a pivotal role in their strategy.