Get your young people ‘flood ready’

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Kerala, India, is currently having its worst floods in over one hundred years, with mass casualties and tens of thousands of people waiting for help. You can visit the Scouts in India webpage to see information about what local Scouts are doing to support those affected. You can also use the opportunity to speak to your young people about flooding, tying it into issues such as water sanitation, global climate change and community action. The weather here recently has been extreme, and it’s important that we empower young people to feel prepared should flooding become an issue where they live.

Luckily, the Environment Agency has released a new set of resources for helping young people to prepare in the event of flooding in the UK.

Following severe flooding in the winter of 2013/14, Lancaster University carried out research with a group of young people who were affected. They found that “[…] children and young people are missing, virtually invisible to the emergency planning process in the UK and more widely, for disasters including extreme weather events, such as severe flooding.” They argued that young people should be informed and prepared around natural disasters – before, during and after – so that they can be ‘active citizens, not passive victims’ in the event of an emergency. You can watch a video about the research here.

In light of this research, the Environment Agency developed the new resources for running 'flood ready' activities with youth groups such as the Scouts. Flooding is one of the few natural disasters that the UK experiences and as a consequence, these activities can help meet a selection of Global Programme badge requirements:

Our A Million Hands charity partner, WaterAid, also has useful information about how climate change and flooding can affect communities in different countries. If your group has carried out work for WaterAid, whether on flooding or in another area, please remember to log your actions with us.

The Environment Agency ‘flood ready’ resources consist of five activities suitable for a Scout meeting. One of these is ‘My family flood plan’:

My family flood plan

Putting together a family flood plan can be used as part of a group discussion, with members then taking home the plan to talk through with their parents or guardians. Some actions they will be able to carry out, while others are more suitable for adult family members. The Environment Agency resources pack includes a downloadable form that can be printed for young people to fill out with their leader, and to display in their home if they wish. It includes key information such as how to check risks, who might need help, where to get more information, important contact numbers, what to do with pets, and what the different flood warnings mean.

To see the rest of the activities and templates, download the full set of resources here.

The Indian government has set up a special page for people who want give money to help people affected by the floods, and there is also a special website for people trying to give help or get help inside of India.

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