10. Emergency responders

Prof. Dapeng Yu and Prof. Rob Wilby

The elderly, young children and those with poor health are disproportionally affected by flooding and rely heavily on emergency services.

The Fire & Rescue Service and Ambulance Service must reach urgent cases within mandatory timeframes, regardless of weather conditions. We have been working with Government’s Cabinet Office, Environment Agency and the Met Office and local resilience forums to develop a street-level, flood nowcasting system to help emergency responders navigate inundated transport networks. This could save valuable minutes between dispatch and arrival during extreme weather. Our system works by connecting forecasts of heavy rainfall to a surface water model to estimate flood depths and areas across a city. Detailed maps of flooding are passed to flood resilience forums where they can be accessed by emergency responders. Longer range forecasts can be used to place ambulances and other equipment in strategic locations ahead of flooding to maintain coverage.