The Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) produces forecasts that help Category 1 and 2 responders and the wider responder community prepare for flooding events.
The best way to measure whether that guidance is useful is to ask the users themselves.
The most recent survey:
was conducted in February 2022 – postponed from 2021 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
as in previous years, assessed satisfaction levels for the FFC and the Flood Guidance Statement (FGS)
introduced new questions about the Flood Outlook, Hazard Manager and training
In the 2022 survey, overall satisfaction with the FFC and its services remained high:
86% of responders were satisfied with the service provided by the FFC (with 42% very satisfied and 44% fairly satisfied)
92% of those who receive the FGS are satisfied with it (with 45% very satisfied and 47% fairly satisfied)
Flood Guidance Statements
The FFC issues the FGS every day. It shows the risk of flooding in England and Wales.
The 2022 survey revealed that:
92% of responders were satisfied with the FGS with 42% being very satisfied – these were similar figures to the 2019 survey
a greater proportion of users are using the flood risk matrix in the FGS than ever before
95% of users are confident in their ability to understand and interpret the FGS
92% of users are confident in their ability to make decisions based on the FGS
The 2022 survey also gave insights into types of actions taken based on FGS. The most common are to:
monitor the weather and flooding situation (84%)
put plans into action (75%)
cascade flood information to colleagues (73%)
discuss risks with relevant parties (67%)
place resources on standby (57%)
The Flood Outlook is for planners who need to make decisions at a timescale of 6 to 30 days. It provides flood likelihood guidance for the coming month in England and Wales. This service is currently being developed to provide better information to our users.
The 2022 survey asked questions on the Flood Outlook for the first time to help inform its ongoing development.
The survey revealed that:
71% of responders say they would find having access to the Flood Outlook very or fairly useful in their role
the main potential uses of the Flood Outlook would be to inform and brief others (78%), for situational and strategic awareness (76%) and to help in joint planning with others (52%)
Training and Support
The 2019 survey showed that users were interested in receiving better training and support on FFC services. These continue to be developed.
The 2022 survey revealed that:
- new training and resources, including the FFC website, training videos and webinars very rated very highly
- less than half (49%) had not accessed any of the support available – suggesting that it needs to be promoted more widely in future
The responder survey provides invaluable feedback on:
how FFC services can be enhanced in future
progress against the FFC Strategic Plan, which aims to ‘put users at the heart of all we do’
The insights from the 2022 survey that will be taken forward in FFC development plans will include:
improving the awareness of the support available for the FGS and Flood Outlook, particularly training materials
targeting our training to users in sectors where there is less understanding of and confidence to act on our services
expanding the number of users who have access to the Flood Outlook
continuing to develop the channels through which users can access FFC services
Acting Head of the FFC, Charlie Pilling, commenting on the results, said:
“User insights enable the FFC to clearly contribute to the evolution of our services, to maximise their value and uphold national resilience.”