Flood warning and support

Research has helped improve the design, communication and use of state-of-the-art flooding forecasts – supporting flood planning and responses at local, national and international levels.

Working closely with the Met Office and the Environment Agency, a research team led by Professor David Demeritt at King's College London has studied how to improve the use of so-called 'ensemble' flood predictions to provide earlier warning. Ensemble prediction models generate a suite (or 'ensemble') of predictions, identifying the most likely, and most extreme, scenarios.

The research has advanced the design and practical application of flood forecasting systems – supporting the development of a decision-support system for the Colne Flood Barrier and evaluating the European Flood Awareness System.

The impact on people once a flood has struck is also being studied. The Hull Floods Project, based at Lancaster University, has documented stories of physical, social and personal recovery drawn from residents' flood experience. The findings have transformed policymakers' understanding of the human impact and highlighted the need for long term support after disaster events - rather than only focusing on flood prevention.