Improving flood risk communication through engagement tools

Delivering practical engagement tools to help Risk Management Authorities promote resilient behaviors in communities vulnerable to flooding.

This project mapped research from disciplines such as psychology, sociology and business, to translate existing knowledge into ways support Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) to engage more effectively with their communities, increasing resilience to flood risk and the impact of climate change.

The 2021 Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) identified the risk of flooding to people, communities and buildings is one of the most severe climate hazards for the population, both now and in the future.

It states flooding poses a significant risk to people, communities and the built environment with approximately 1.9 million people across the UK currently living in areas at significant risk from either river, coastal or surface water flooding. The number of people at risk could double as early as the 2050s

Flooding has profound impacts on the people who experience it. As well as a small number of annual deaths or injuries, there is growing evidence of long-term and severe impacts on mental health and wellbeing from flooding; damage to property including the upheaval and financial implications of cleaning up; disrupted access to employment, education, health services and wider facilities; and illness from water-borne pathogens or chemical contaminants arising from floods.

Flood Risk Managers (FRMs) across Yorkshire requested iCASP support to overcome a number of challenges that impede their efforts to engage with, and build the resilience of, those at risk of flooding. In helping RMAs to overcome the challenges they face, the ultimate outcome of this project was to enable communities to take more responsibility for their own resilience, specifically with regards to preparing for a possible flood event.

Resources and tools produced during the project will be used by RMAs to develop effective communication strategies that result in increased resilience of communities at risk. iCASP’s role in the project was to co-ordinate research and knowledge exchange from across multi disciplines and between different partners, both academic and professional. This will help develop the strategies and tools that risk management authorities in the region need to improve community resilience to flood risk.

The outputs and learnings from the project are transferable to other sectors and could complement and increase the impact of current projects in the iCASP portfolio such as INNS project workshops, NFM Community of Practitioner events and Yorkshire PFR pathfinder project.

Project Team

Dr Jenny Armstrong – iCASP Impact Translation Fellow (link)
Dr Andrea Taylor – University of Leeds
Dr Paola – University of Leeds
Dr Liz Sharp – University of Sheffield
Flood Risk Management Team – Leeds City Council
Flood Risk Management Team – City of York Council
Research and Development – Environment Agency
Living with Water partnership


March 2020 – Summer 2022


A ground breaking training tool – FLEEX has been developed during this project. This will help to extend the project’s reach and national impact.