Climate and population change: a future we need to prepare for

An ambulance and cars stuck in floods

This blog was contributed by Olivia Small, Knowledge Management Officer at Age UK. 

Hurricane Harvey created utter devastation, loss of life, and mass flooding in Texas. Many distressing images emerged of individuals fleeing their homes, and entire neighbourhoods under water. Perhaps most shocking was the image captured of care home residents trapped in water up to their waists.  Not long after, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and caused unprecedented destruction including the death of six people at a nursing home in Florida.  This should serve as a wakeup call to us in the UK, to ensure that the needs of our ageing population are fully reflected in our emergency planning. Continue reading “Climate and population change: a future we need to prepare for”

From the 1953 floods to today

200x160_flooded_street_main (1)Amidst all the terrible weather the recent 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods passed without much comment.

Yet on the night of 4 February 1953, a huge storm surge struck the east coast. In places the sea came 2 miles inland. 307 people were killed, including many families who died in their homes.

There was no warning and it was Britain’s worst peacetime disaster.

One of the most famous rescues was of a Miss Fowler, aged 84, of Canvey Island, Essex, with her 82 year old brother. You can see a photo of them here  but they had to spend nearly 4 days without food, light or heat before help finally arrived.

Today, this is the situation we most fear at Age UK: frail older people marooned in flooded homes, accidentally overlooked and left to suffer alone. However, so far it seems that vulnerable older people have been identified and offered the emergency relief they need, and in a timely fashion. Thank goodness.

Continue reading “From the 1953 floods to today”