Flood Risk Management: A National Defence and Security Concern

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Report of the RUSI discussion forum on flood risk management, 14 February 2014

This roundtable, held at the Royal United Services Institute on 14 February 2014, brought together individuals from government departments, industry and academia to consider the challenges of flood risk management and to discuss the response to the severe flooding suffered by several areas of the UK throughout late 2013 and early 2014.

The meeting was chaired by Jennifer Cole, Senior Research Fellow in Resilience and Emergency Management, and nine subject-matter experts contributed.

Key Points

  • Long-term planning – on timescales that do not always sit easily with parliamentary or local council terms of office – is essential to tackling the ongoing threat from flooding.
  • Responses must be co-ordinated at the local, national and international level, and need to bring together the public sector and private sector.
  • Communities and individuals must be made aware of their responsibilities and encouraged to take an active role in flood prevention and response.
  • The economic cost of flooding threatens to undermine the UK’s economic recovery, which in turn could undermine confidence in the government.
  • Flood events are likely to become more severe and more frequent. Investment in flood risk management now will see considerable returns in future.


Jennifer Cole

Associate Fellow

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