First iPhone app to warn of flooding

Posted: Monday 25th April 2011

The country’s first ever mobile phone application that provides the public with flood warnings has been launched.

This is just one of the many ways in which the Environment Agency is using new technology and social media to protect people from floods. ‘Flood Alert’ uses live data from the Environment Agency to provide users with real time updates on nearby flood warnings, as well as up to two extra chosen locations in England and Wales. Developed by Halcrow the application also displays an overview for specific geographical regions.

The new, free service will help people, communities and businesses make informed decisions about how to respond to potential flooding. The application also provides users with information on what they should do to help reduce flood risk - for example, how to flood-proof your home.

It follows on from the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service which now has almost one million people at risk from rivers and coastal flooding registered. The service sends localised warnings when flooding is possible by phone, text or fax. It is easy to check and register for this service online at The Environment Agency website, also allows the public to monitor "live" river and sea levels at more than 1,700 locations.

CCTV cameras across the country are being used to help manage flood incidents. By working in partnership with local authorities and the police, existing cameras are being used to help the Environment Agency monitor flood situations and further improve response.

The Environment Agency is also using social media to help better inform local communities of potential floods via Twitter and Facebook.

More than five million people in England and Wales are at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea.

Craig Woolhouse, Head of Flood Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: "One in six properties in England and Wales is at flood risk. This new app is part of our growing use of technology to help better prepare communities and businesses for the devastating impacts of floods."

The application can be downloaded from the Apple ‘App Store’ and is available throughout England and Wales 24 hours a day. Both an Android and Blackberry version will be launched in the next few months.

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