SEPA’s Floodline Messaging Upgrade

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is set to upgrade its Floodline messaging system and incorporate other hazard notifications for communities and businesses across Scotland.

Since 2011, the Flood Warning Dissemination system has issued regional flood alerts and local flood warnings to at risk areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone can sign up to receive advance notice of flooding via an automated text or phone call for the area where they live, work or travel.

Image credit Bell

Pascal Lardet, Flood Unit Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:

“SEPA has a pivotal role to play in helping communities avoid flood risk where they can, adapt where they cannot and act when warned of flooding. Developing a messaging system, which is both resilient and innovative, is key to ensuring residents and businesses have the information relevant to them when it matters most.

“The science on climate change is clear that extreme weather events are likely to increase in the future. Flooding is just one example that poses a real threat to people and property. The impacts can be devastating and that’s why it’s more important than ever to have a system like this in place.”

The new Future Flood and Incident Messaging Service (FFIMS) will be in two phases

  1. dynamic and location-based alerts, more targeted to users within a set radius of areas at risk of flooding
  2. localised three-day flood forecasts developed in addition to the national Scottish Flood Forecast, also the possible integration of multiple hazards within the new system e.g. a water scarcity alerting service highlighting where droughts are possible.

BT, supported by HTK, has been awarded the contract to provide the new service for the next 12 years, delivering the digital innovations required.

Senga Thomson, BT’s public sector lead for Scotland, said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with SEPA on this project to modernise this important service. As climate change continues to affect our homes and businesses, it’s vital that people can access real-time, accurate information on the risk of flooding in their area.

“BT already plays a unique role in keeping vital services connected, whatever the weather, including handling all 999 calls and supporting the emergency services in Scotland. We’re pleased we can extend our role to help transform the Floodline service to make it fit for the future.”

Kirkwall flood barriers

Marlon Bowser, co-founder and CEO of HTK commented;

“I am delighted that our Horizon platform has been chosen to underpin this significant evolution of the Floodline service through enhanced digital and mobile communications, automation of incident messaging, and the increased personalisation of content. It is a genuine privilege to work with BT and SEPA on such an essential and worthwhile initiative.”

flooding in Finstown, image credit Nick Morrison

Floodline provides live flooding information and advice on how to prepare for or cope with the impacts of flooding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sign up and get notified when the area you live, work or travel through is at risk of flooding

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