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Stand up and be counted to reduce impact of coastal flooding

People living on the Lincolnshire coast are being urged to make sure they are prepared for coastal flooding.

In the year that saw the 60th anniversary of the East Coast floods, the county's emergency response agencies are again challenging local communities to make sure they have taken steps to prepare for flooding.

Boston Borough Council, the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire County Council are launching the annual We're prepared for coastal flooding - are you? campaign to encourage households to complete a flood plan and sign up to receive flood warnings.

Council leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, said: "Our coastline is now better protected than ever before but no one can ever remove all risk of flooding. We work closely with our partners to ensure we have plans in place to cope if flooding does happen, but local residents and communities can take simple steps to help reduce the risk - that's what our campaign aims to achieve."

Coastal communities are being asked to Make a Call - sign up to the Environment Agency's free Floodline Warnings Direct service to receive early warning of predicted flooding - and Make a Plan.

Cllr Bedford said: "I have been signed up to this scheme since it started and you really do get updates We want people to complete a flood plan for their household so that they know what to do in an emergency. Some towns and parishes have already created their own emergency flood plans and we would like to see more do so. We want more people to be able to stand up and say 'We're prepared for coastal flooding - are you'. We may not be able to prevent all coastal flooding, but we can all take action to reduce its impact."

On January 31, 1953, coastal defences in England and other European countries were overtopped and washed away causing widespread devastation. Despite a mass evacuation of the area, 42 people died.

Head of Emergency Planning at Lincolnshire County Council, David Powell, said: "Much has changed since 1953. Investment in flood defences has made East Lindsey, Boston and South Holland better protected than at any time. We have developed plans and procedures to protect and evacuate people in the event of flooding, and we regularly practise these to ensure their effectiveness.

"Whilst we cannot prevent or control these types of disaster, it is important to understand the hazards we face, what the effects can be, what we can do, and the steps we can take to ensure we stay safe and recover as quickly as possible. Individual action is important, but communities can work together to put plans in place. Only by working in partnership can we reduce the risk of flooding to ourselves, our families and our communities. We're prepared for coastal flooding in Lincolnshire - are you?"

People living in coastal areas are urged to sign up for the free flooding warnings service, Floodline Warnings Direct by calling 0845 9881188 and to complete an interactive emergency flood plan at www.lincolnshireprepared.co.uk