Felixstowe flood advice handed out

PEOPLE living in low-lying areas of Felixstowe have been told they should be prepared for flooding - and know exactly what to do if the area has to be evacuated.

PEOPLE living in low-lying areas of Felixstowe have been told they should be prepared for flooding - and know exactly what to do if the area has to be evacuated.

Children at the seafront area's primary school are already well aware of what will happen in an emergency and have been learning about “grab bags”.

Youngsters at Langer Primary School discovered these should be prepared in advance and contain those vital items needed for a night or two away from home.

Carol Mayston, of the Environment Agency, which brought its flooding roadshow to Felixstowe seafront, said: “The children have been looking at the 1953 floods disaster in their studies and we asked them to draw posters and think about what their grab bags should contain.

“They picked things such as their comfort blankets or bedtime toys, inhalers and other vital medication, wind-up radios and torches, and other items they could keep on a list and be prepared to grab quickly or could have ready in case of a flood.

“As adults we seem to think putting the settee upstairs is the most essential thing. However, we tell people that it is best to safeguard your memories and not worry about what is replaceable - put your photos, vital documents, particular treasures and other precious items on higher floors so they don't get damaged, and then get out.”

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Agency officials say people would have around ten hours' notice today of the possibility of flooding, thanks to modern weather and tide technology and communications - whereas in 1953 many people had no warning at all.

This would give people plenty of time to move precious items to safety and get themselves clear of the area to a rest centre.

At the roadshow people were given advice on registering for the agency's free Floodline Warnings Direct service via telephone, mobile, e-mail, fax or pager whenever a flood is forecast in the area.

Are you worried about flooding or do you think current sea defences are adequate? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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