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Risk management planning for water rescue and flooding

Risk management plans should consider the foreseeable hazards associated with flooding and water rescue. This assessment should identify the most vulnerable people and infrastructure in their area. Fire and rescue services should use community risk profiles and flood maps provided by responsible bodies to develop risk management plans.

Assessments of flooding hazard should include:

  • Specific hazards such as fords and flooded roads
  • Hydrology and potential hydrology
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Previous incident data
  • Links to weather patterns and data on previous flood events
  • Climate change impact assessments
  • Historical information and markers
  • Pre-planning documents, such as flood inundation plans

Assessments of water rescue hazards should include the identification of existing bodies of water, particularly those used by the public for recreation.

Agencies should assess the hazards and develop appropriate control measures in their area. Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI) should be considered for locations where these are significant and should include:

  • Response levels that are flexible and scalable to allow for a variety of flood scenarios
  • Reference to relevant standard operating procedures, tactical actions, and preplanning including rendezvous points, appliance marshalling areas and access points
  • On-site control measures and hazards, including pertinent upstream or downstream hazards

Local responders should have knowledge of local sites and associated hazards and perform risk visits as appropriate.

Environmental agencies in England, Wales and Scotland and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland are responsible for the provision of flood mapping and defences. Lead local flood authorities should co-ordinate and manage flood planning for areas within their jurisdiction. In addition to their responsibility for flood mapping, environmental agencies have an incident response capability providing flood barriers, mobile water pumps and incident command vehicles. Agencies may request assistance in filling or constructing temporary barriers.

Community flood action groups may provide assistance to communities during floods.