SRA Annual Report 2019-20: Introduction to Building Local Resilience section

2019-20 Summary

  • Two new community engagement officers began working with people, groups and parish councils across Somerset.
  • Affordable flood insurance survey results were analysed and fed back to communities.
  • Four communities got SRA grants for equipment.
  • The SRA part-funded Somerset’s second Community Resilience Day.
  • A very localised community flood alert system has been devised as a pilot project.
  • Adapting the Levels (part-funded by the SRA) held successful events in Wedmore and Langport and worked with parish and town councillors, farmers and communities on the Somerset Levels & Moors on ways of adapting to the water-related effects of climate change (flooding and drought).
  • A pilot project is being planned with Climatewise at the University of Cambridge.


One of the six main objectives of Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan is to “Increase resilience to flooding for families, agriculture, business, communities and wildlife”.

The Plan said that after the floods of 2013-14 people should first be helped to re-establish their day-to-day lives.

Communities, individuals and businesses should next be helped to prepare and adapt for future floods.

The SRA has never sought to claim that floods in Somerset can ever be entirely prevented.

But if people can become better informed and better equipped, they will be better placed to protect themselves against floods and to recover more quickly afterwards.

New community engagement officers

So the SRA now funds a full-time Community Engagement Officer (Emma Giffard) and a Community Engagement Support Officer (Dawn James). Text continues below the picture of Dawn and Emma.

Dawn James (left) and Emma Giffard.

Emma and Dawn work closely with Somerset County Council’s Civil Contingencies Unit and are members of Somerset Prepared.

Somerset Prepared is a partnership between local emergency services (Police, Fire & Rescue, Ambulance) and organisations that help to enhance local resilience (such as British Red Cross, the Community Council for Somerset, the Environment Agency, Rotary International, Safe South West and Somerset Local Authorities Civil Contingencies Partnership).

As members of this partnership, Emma and Dawn can benefit from – and contribute to – advice, guidance and support for local initiatives.

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