THE IMPORTANCE of preparing for flooding was brought home to Lathallan School pupils in dramatic fashion recently when they were visited by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
A play staged by the agency’s theatre and learning team is currently touring Scottish schools to try to raise awareness of flooding and highlight the need for preparation as well as to show the realities of flooding incidents and why they occur.
It also raises awareness of the new coastal flood warning service launched last month for the east coast of Scotland. The production, ‘Keep Calm and Call Floodline’, links to the Curriculum for Excellence and was written especially for the tour.
Stewart Prodger, of SEPA’s flood unit, said: “It’s important for us all to be aware of flooding and the impact it can have. We want the pupils to know how to be prepared and what to do in the event of a flood, as their family home or their routes to school might be in a flood risk area.
“This is a fun and entertaining way to get a serious message across to the future generation. We are providing pupils with the sort of knowledge, understanding and practical ideas which they can take home to encourage their families to start taking action, so we can tackle flooding together.”
Split into four acts, the play centres on young Paul and his citizen science project on flooding. Paul and his friends are joined by a host of celebrity ‘pals’ as they explore the science behind flooding and allow serious messages to be delivered in a fun and engaging way.
The initiative has been praised by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, who said
that recent months have demonstrated graphically how damaging flooding can be for communities.
He said: “In December, I heard first hand just how distressing flooding can be for families and in particular children when I visited Comrie. That’s why it’s so important that we raise awareness of flooding and help people, especially young people living in at risk areas, be better prepared to deal with the impact.
“SEPA’s fun play is a novel approach - not only will it entertain pupils across Scotland but it will also give them a better understanding of the issue and offer practical ideas which will help their families to take action so we can tackle flooding together.”
Across Scotland, there are around 125,000 properties at risk of flooding, which equates to one in 22 residential properties and one in 13 business premises and SEPA is emphasising increasing importance of the wider community being aware of the risk and how to prepare.
Free advance flood warning messages can now be sent directly to a mobile or landline telephone by signing up for the service at www.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup or by calling 0845 988 1188.
SEPA also provides live flood warning information on www.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188.