How to talk about flooding

This guide will provide you with some key messaging and resources to talk about flooding across the UK.

21 Feb 2022

Flooding in the UK

Climate breakdown will make flooding in the UK worse. Over the past 40 years rainfall has been steadily increasing in the UK and 5.7 million homes and properties across the UK are now at risk of flooding. 

You can find out more about why flooding is getting worse, who is at risk and what we can do about it in our briefings for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In recent years, we've seen the devastation flooding has caused across the country, leaving communities struggling to cope. If you’re concerned about risk of flooding in your area or need help during or after a flood, the UK government can provide help and information.

It’s important that we communicate the causes when devastating events like these happen. And remind people that there are solutions. We must continue to push for government policies and actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as promote natural flood management and nature restoration to reduce flood risk. 

To support you in communicating the causes, impacts and solutions to flooding, either in your community or elsewhere in the UK, we’ve put together some key messaging, social media template posts and press templates.

Key messages to communicate

1. The UK is becoming more prone to surprise flooding events and it will continue to affect more and more people. 5.7 million homes and properties across the UK are currently at risk.

2.    Climate breakdown is making flooding in the UK worse. Humans have warmed the planet at an unprecedented rate and with every increment of global warming, extreme weather events are getting progressively worse and more frequent.

3. Flooding often has a worse impact on lower-income households who cannot afford to make their homes flood-resistant or the insurance premiums to cover flooding.

4. Over the past 40 years rainfall has been steadily increasing in the UK and it is now more than 7% wetter than it used to be. Sea levels have risen by 1.6cm. These changes don’t seem like much, but averages mask extremes. It is the intense rainfall events and storms in both summer and winter that cause most damage.

5. To prevent flooding across the UK, we need local and national politicians to act now. We need to urgently reduce our emissions to stop global temperatures rising, and we need to invest in natural flood defences, like planting more trees.

6. Friends of the Earth Local Groups and Climate Action Groups are fighting climate breakdown in their communities. Join a group to be part of the solution.

Template social media posts

If you can, we suggest capturing your own photos or video, to show the real-life and real-time impact of flooding. This will help your followers connect with what is happening in your area and better understand the issue.  

  • You could take pictures or video of local flooding, including group members in the shots or perhaps interviewing them to give an idea of what is going on. 
  • Always make sure to get consent from the public if they appear in your photos and video. 

The template posts below can be accompanied by images or video of local flooding, or this link. If your group has an Instagram account, and you aren't able to capture your own photos or video, you could use the template Instagram assets in this folder.

Post 1 - how climate breakdown and flooding are linked 

Climate breakdown is making flooding in the UK worse

As global temperatures rise, warm air holds more water & more water evaporates from rivers & seas, resulting in heavier rainfall & flooding.

We desperately need protection against future floods. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/flooding-uk 

Post 2 - we need nature 

The loss of nature the UK has experienced makes flooding even worse…

Trees are a major ally in the fight against flooding, as they slow water flow and enable soil to absorb more water. But this is currently one of Europe’s least wooded nations! 

#MoreTreesPlease #Flooding 

Post 3 - the impact 

Rainfall has been steadily increasing in the UK and sea levels have risen too. Now we’re becoming more prone to surprise flooding.

Over 5.7 million homes and properties across the UK are currently at risk, and lower-income households often see the worst impact.

Post 4 - headline stats 

5.7 million homes across the UK are currently at risk from flooding

We desperately need greater protection against future floods.

Post 5 - local impact 

This is what the climate crisis looks like in the UK. 

We desperately need greater protection against future floods.

[include images/video of local impact]

Press templates

Use these templates to get local media coverage on flooding. These draft templates are for guidance, and should be adapted to fit local circumstances. Any specific information on local flooding and natural flood defence schemes appropriate to your area should be included. 

For more information on getting media coverage, read our guide on sending out a press release. 

Climate