Young people are most at risk in a flood warning, a new case study focusing on Mytholmroyd has revealed.
The Environment Agency and British Red Cross are urging young people to learn how to protect themselves and help their communities when flooding hits after research shows a lack of knowledge is putting them at risk.
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According to the Environment Agency research, 18-34 year olds are least likely to know if the area where they live is at risk of flooding and least likely to know how to protect their homes and possessions.
Less than half (48 per cent) of under 35s would know what to do if a flood warning was issued.
Those who experience flooding in their own home are also at high risk of suffering from negative mental health impacts which can last for years after flooding has hit.
The most recent Public Health England research shows that over a third of people who were flooded in 2014 suffered with depression, anxiety or PTSD and nearly a quarter of people were still experiencing these negative mental health impacts two years later.
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The family home of Serah Cullinan-Stooks was one of those in Mytholmroyd severely damaged in the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
The destruction caused that day has had a devastating effect on Serah. She worries when it rains really heavily and the sound of a flood siren makes her feel physically sick.
It took 51 weeks to repair the damage to the family’s Georgian house on Burnley Road, opposite where the new bridge will be built, including building a new kitchen.
The mother-of-three said: “Until it has happened to you, no one can have any idea of the destruction an event like that can cause or the huge impact on your life. It was really tough on our children, they were very distressed by it all.
“It is so important to be as prepared as possible and to know what steps to take to do your best to protect yourself and your family when flooding hits.”
Caroline Douglass, director of incident management and resilience at the Environment Agency, said: “The terrible impacts of flooding can last long after the flood waters have receded. But simple actions can lessen the damage to your home, protect your wellbeing and help you recover more quickly.”