Get Flood Ready!

The Lancaster team’s latest digital game – Get Flood Ready! – is designed for younger (primary-aged) children. Like Flood Snakes & Ladders, the game takes players on a journey through the experience of flooding and recovery but this game focuses much more on increasing flood awareness and preparedness.

The game can be played individually, in groups of 2-4 or as a whole class.

To access the game or to download an Android version, visit our Flood Snakes & Ladders website.

screenshot of Get Flood Ready! game

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University

Where is the data?

Here you will explore:

  • how to access Lancaster University’s original flood research data
  • how to search through the datasets

Accessing the data

The original data generated during Lancaster University’s flood research projects can be easily accessed via Lancaster University’s Research Data Repository:

Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience, 2014-2016 – https://dx.doi.org/10.17635/lancaster/researchdata/274

Children, Flood and Urban Resilience, 2007-2011 (Hull Children’s Flood Project) – https://dx.doi.org/10.17635/lancaster/researchdata/281

Flood, Vulnerability and Resilience, 2007-2009 (Hull Floods Project) – https://dx.doi.org/10.17635/lancaster/researchdata/286

(The data is also stored at the UK Data Service. Here you will need to register before you can search and download the data.)

Searching the data

  1. First open the zipped 1. Data Summary folder. The Data Overview file summarises the different types of data available for that project. Here is an example from the Children, Young People & Flooding project.
  2. Next look at the Data Spreadsheet which provides detailed metadata for each project – see this spreadsheet example from the Children, Young People & Flooding project. Each file (transcript or image) is linked to a file number and to a description of the participant(s) by age, gender and location. In the case of the Children, Young People and Flooding project, there is also a short description of the contents of each conversation and image. This makes it possible to search the spreadsheets by:
    • age (for children)
    • location (e.g. ‘urban’ or ‘rural’)
    • gender
    • conversation topic (e.g. insurance, pets, sandbags…)
    • image subject (e.g. skip, drains)
    • data type (i.e. transcript or image)
    • data collection method (e.g. Walk & Talk)

You can choose EITHER to:

  • Browse through the spreadsheet and then open transcripts/images in the zipped data folders in that look interesting OR
  • Put a keyword into ‘Find’ on the spreadsheet such as ‘skip’, ‘pet’ or ‘insurance’ and search for all relevant data

Data access flowcharts 

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The flowcharts below indicate where to look in the data sets for particular types of data. 

 

 

Visit the Data access flowcharts: Alternative descriptions page to access the flowcharts in a different format.

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Data type – conversations

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Data type – diaries

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Data type – images

What is the data?

Here you will explore:

  • the range and scale of data generated by Lancaster University researchers investigating the social effects of flooding

Data generated during Lancaster University’s flood research projects

Lancaster University researchers have conducted three major studies into the social effects of flooding: Hull Floods Project (2007-2009); Hull Children’s Flood Project (2007-2011); Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience (2014-16).

The team has drawn on a range of qualitative methods in these projects, from traditional social science tools such as group discussions and interviews (face-to-face or by telephone) to more participatory approaches such as diaries, ‘walk & talk’, ‘photo talk’, storyboard drawings and 3D model making. These approaches have generated different types of primary data including transcripts, drawings and photographs.

As a result of the mixed methods of data gathering, the projects have produced a range of data types. You can read more about these forms of data collection elsewhere on this website: How to collect data.

Table of data produced from Lancaster University’s flood projects

To learn about how to access this data see: Where is the data?

3D model made with blue tiles, pebbles, moss, twigs, cloth and feathers

3D group model

Callum aged 12

This is Callum’s story about what happened to him with some key learning points at the end…

Background

On the evening of 9th February 2014, after days of persistent rain, seven severe flood warnings (the highest category) were put in place for the River Thames in north Surrey. Residents were evacuated and roads and schools were closed. The Staines area experienced clusters of events involving tidal, river, rainfall and groundwater flooding. These four stories, taken from our ‘Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience’ project, show how flooding can reveal, and even exacerbate, existing social vulnerabilities.

Callum, aged 12, lives with his parents in a council flat. He told us: ‘We live on the ground floor…. We lost everything’ in the flood. On the day of the flood, the family watched the floodwaters rising and then went to bed. The next morning he said his dad:

 …opened the door to see what was happening and there was all this water sort of coming down …  Then we stayed for a little bit, then it went up more, and then it went to the top step and Dad said, ‘We need to go now. When I say now, I mean now.’

Callum and Ben’s model of their flooded street

The family evacuated to his grandparents’ house, which Callum thought was a better option than the one offered to children who had no relatives living locally and who were forced to move into distant rented accommodation – some families with children were relocated to such unfamiliar spaces as an army barracks and airport hotels. But living with relatives turned out to be problematic for Callum in various ways.

He had difficulty sleeping at his grandparents’ home in a tiny room amongst all of the packing cases and plastic bags that were stacked up to the ceiling full of his family’s belongings.

(Transcript of sound bite)

Added to this, Callum was not used to going to school on the bus. Living locally, he had always walked. The new bus journey was totally strange to him: ‘I got sort of upset in school sometimes, because like I just couldn’t stand going on the bus’. He found the journey very stressful and claustrophobic – ‘I was like I can’t do this..this is so sweaty’ and he was sweating into his clothes which made him very uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Callum needed £1.25 for each bus journey i.e. £2.50 per day. The family didn’t receive a bus pass to help with the immediate costs of this and so Callum was very much responsible for paying the fare and keeping the money safe for the return journey. This was new and stressful for him. He told us he didn’t know if the family ever received a refund for these extra costs.

A house with a full skip outside, on the driveway

Photo taken by one of the participants from the Children, Young people and Flooding Project

Callum returned home eight months after the flood to a road that he described as a ‘ghost town’ – they were one of the first families to return. But the road was full of potholes and needed repairing. Callum got very angry when he saw the workmen who he described as ‘ard’ chucking stuff down the drains: ‘They were just like laying around’ giving the impression ‘oh I can’t be bothered’.

 

Callum’s experience demonstrates the need for more flood awareness at school and from the Local Authority. What Callum needed was a member of staff at school to find out how he was coping with the unfamiliar journey to and from school and then to team him up with someone who could show him the ropes. His parents needed to know insurers were aware of these extra travel costs and would provide the funds up front or negotiate a bus pass (resulting in less stress and stigma) and that he needed to get back to his own home asap. Callum would also benefit from knowing that the councils can help by making it an offence to empty rubbish into drains, causing blockages.

3D model of a blocked drain made from clay, blue tissue paper and wool

Blocked drain, crafted by a young participant, Children, Young People and Flooding Project

Key Points

  • Hurried evacuation results in severe stress
  • Living on the ground floor results in extra limitations
  • Living in cramped conditions for nine months undermines health and wellbeing
  • New journey to school is expensive and creates hardship
  • Strangeness of new journey to school creates uncertainty and feelings of panic
  • Blocked drains stopping the flood water from flowing away causes anxiety
  • Lack of care in society by others who ‘don’t get it

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University

Sally aged 11

This is Sally’s story about what happened to her with some key learning points at the end…

Background

On the evening of 9th February 2014, after days of persistent rain, seven severe flood warnings (the highest category) were put in place for the River Thames in north Surrey. Residents were evacuated and roads and schools were closed. The Staines area experienced clusters of events involving tidal, river, rainfall and groundwater flooding. These four stories, taken from our ‘Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience’ project, show how flooding can reveal, and even exacerbate, existing social vulnerabilities.

Sally, aged 11 years, lives in a house with her parents; her dad is a wheelchair user. Sally saw the weather forecasts on television and was aware that severe flooding was forecast for her local area, so (unlike her parents) she packed a suitcase ‘just in case’ she had to leave home.

(Transcript of sound bite)

However, Sally’s impression of being evacuated was also bound up with images of people being relocated to hotels as if they were going away on holiday, so she packed ‘some special dresses’ that she thought would be nice to wear at the hotel. Unfortunately, Sally’s family was evacuated to a small hotel with cramped rooms unsuitable for disabled guests, which Sally said was ‘really hard’ for her dad. Not only had she forgotten to pack her school uniform but she didn’t get to wear her special dresses because it was ‘too expensive’ to use the hotel restaurant.

Sally told us that when her family was moved into temporary accommodation, the family experienced additional distress. In the first hotel, they were placed in a room with a tiny en-suite bathroom which was not accessible for wheelchair users. In the cramped conditions, her dad injured himself whilst trying to wash. The family was then moved into more suitable accommodation but were forced to move again. Coming on top of the shock of the flooding, this had the effect of making the family feel isolated and misunderstood.

A clay model of a disgruntled person with a skip

‘The hard work of recovery’ model created by one of the young people from the Children, Young People and Flooding Project

Sally’s story reveals that there can be multiple problems associated with evacuation, which are sometimes invisible to friends, teachers, insurers, loss adjusters and emergency planners.

Her experience demonstrates the need for better education for householders on what action to take in case of flooding and for policymakers and practitioners to be more inclusive of the needs of communities, including those of children and disabled people.

Key Points

  • Evacuation results in poor health and wellbeing
  • Shows a child’s perception of evacuation
  • Placement in inappropriate temporary accommodation
  • Injury sustained by wheelchair user
  • Family experiences of multiple displacements
  • Challenges of creating a flood resilient accessible family home
  • Lack of care in society by others who ‘don’t get it’

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University

Andrew aged 15

This is Andrew’s story about what happened to him, with some key learning points at the end…

Background

On the evening of 9th February 2014, after days of persistent rain, seven severe flood warnings (the highest category) were put in place for the River Thames in north Surrey. Residents were evacuated and roads and schools were closed. The Staines area experienced clusters of events involving tidal, river, rainfall and groundwater flooding. These four stories, taken from our ‘Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience’ project, show how flooding can reveal, and even exacerbate, existing social vulnerabilities.

Andrew, aged 15, lives in a house with his mum, dad and older brother. Evacuated from their home by the military, Andrew was most concerned about his pet lizard – trying to keep her warm.

(Transcript for sound bite)

He spent the first night at his ‘nan’s’. Then he moved with the rest of his family to his aunt’s for three days, but she had a newborn baby and it wasn’t convenient for the family to stay there any longer, so they then moved into a hotel.

After the evacuation the family returned to their home to check on the damage:

We saw the water in the house… It wasn’t a lot, it was just about maybe three, four inches, but it can still do a lot of damage. You still have to do one metre up from that, so it creates a lot of damage. Yeah, not good.

a full skip and a heap of sandbags outside a house

Photo taken by one of the participants from the Children, Young People and Flooding Project

 

Andrew told us that sandbags would not have stopped the groundwater from coming up through the floorboards: ‘sandbags won’t stop that’. Andrew also told us that he felt that his local community was ‘splintering apart’, which he said was ‘disappointing to see’ after the council had distributed the sandbags:

 

 

We had to fight for them. There was a lot of people who wanted them, just taking more than they needed and they weren’t sharing it out. I think everybody was for themselves .… When I moved out, you know, it was just us, it’s just, you’ve got your family and that’s it. Nobody helps you.

Living in the hotel was difficult – Andrew had to share a small room with his older brother which he said was ‘not much fun’. He discovered that hotel living disrupts your day-to-day life and there’s a feeling of lost independence: ‘you couldn’t even get your own cereal – like, you want to do those everyday things’. The conditions in the hotel affected him and he empathised with other people who had been evacuated and were trying to get on with their lives whilst negotiating with their insurers:

There’s people on my road who are still not in their houses…Yeah, that’s not good at all – still living in hotels – and they’ve got like whole families going to work and going to school and you can’t cope with it’. 

Andrew also told us that the disruption affected his studies because he couldn’t access crucial GCSE documents online:

So it really affected, like people had to go on line and get their like… their work off of there. But I couldn’t because I’m in a hotel, I’ve got no Wi-Fi. The hotel’s Wi-Fi was absolutely terrible, you couldn’t do anything, and this was when we were choosing options. I couldn’t even like fill out that form because it was online. I couldn’t print it out.

Andrew ended up living in the hotel until the end of March (about 6 weeks). The family then went to live in a rented house until the repairs were completed on their home. They returned home in November 2015, after 21 months away.

Andrew’s story shows how displacement impacts on day-to-day life, education, people’s sense of independence and understanding of what it means to be flooded.  Interestingly, it challenges the common claim that disaster brings people together. We see that tensions within the community can be heightened by creating a feeling of injustice if groups within the community are perceived to be treated differently.

Key Points

  • Groundwater flooding takes the family by surprise
  • Shows how flood experience leads to important new knowledge
  • Living in a hotel results in loss of independence
  • Living on a day-to-day basis in a hotel is expensive
  • Being flooded affects your education

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University

Flood Suitcase

Flood Recovery

two painted cardboard suitcases

Designing the Flood Suitcase

The Flood Suitcase is a workshop programme designed to support flood-affected children and young people and build more resilient schools and communities. The programme was developed from the creative methods used during the Children, Young People and Flooding Project and are designed to support children to talk about their experiences of flooding in a safe space.

Lancaster researchers piloted the Flood Suitcase programme with children and parents in Cumbria affected by the flooding caused by Storm Desmond in December 2015. A group of 18 primary school children and five parents took part in two creative workshops during the 2016 summer term. The group walked and took photos around the local flood-affected area and the workshops drew on drama games and exercises, sandplay and 3D modelling to help the children tell their story of the floods and share their experiences with others.

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At the end of the workshops, the group was given its own ‘Flood Suitcase’ to keep in school, which the children had co-designed. This suitcase is a place to store photographs and other items which evoke memories of the flood and the recovery process. It also provides a focus for discussing flooding in school and opening a dialogue about community flood awareness and resilience building.

The Flood Suitcase pilot project ended with evaluation sessions with the children, parents and staff. A number of the children talked about how the workshops had been both fun and helpful and they had lots of ideas about how to continue using the school’s Flood Suitcase!

Following this pilot, the research team ran the Flood Suitcase project in 2017 at St. Michael’s on Wyre C.E. Primary School in Lancashire and wrote a short case study about this. During both projects, the team worked alongside staff from the children’s charity, Barnardo’s, training them in the use of the Flood Suitcase.

colage of resources including book Memories o the Flood, photographs and the Flood Suitcase

Some of the resources the children saved in their school Flood Suitcase

 

Barnardo’s have since run the Flood Suitcase programme successfully in three primary schools in Cumbria. The children who took part in this work with Barnardo’s reported that the project had helped them to better understand flooding and what action to take when there is the risk of a flood. Many said how much they had enjoyed the work and that they wanted to learn more about flooding.

The workshop facilitator’s Flood Suitcase

If you are interested in the Flood Suitcase workshop programme for your school or youth group, please contact us at:

floodarchive@lancaster.ac.uk

 

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University

Interactive Tools

Do you want to get people thinking about flood risk? One way is to use interactive tools and games!

If you are a student, teacher, emergency planner/responder or you are involved in developing policy you will find these resources open up new conversations and pathways to action.

Flood snakes & ladders board with 30 squares alternately coloured in blue & aqua, white dice with black dots, a red and a yellow avatar displayed as 'wellington boots' for team players

Roll the dice!

Flood Snakes & Ladders is an interactive game that invites participants to walk in the shoes of flood-affected children. It can be used to stimulate discussion and learning around flood preparedness and response.

 

 

 

A decorated flood suitcase

Flood recovery resource

The Flood Suitcase is designed to support recovery and resilience building with flood-affected children, young people, families and teachers.

 

 

 

 

screenshot of Get Flood Ready! game

Prepare for flooding

Get Flood Ready! is a digital game for primary-aged children, aimed at promoting flood awareness and preparedness.

 

 

 

 

glass kilner jar with moonlight image of boat sailing on the waves

The Tide Jar

How to Catch a River is a set of resources created by Claire Dean during her PhD at Lancaster University.

Access the Data

Lancaster University’s research into the social effects of flooding has generated a wide range of data – from images to diaries to quotations.

These pages explain the different types of data you can access. You will also learn how to search through and download this data at the UK Data Service.

boats on the river

Photograph taken during walk & talk activity

 

 

How to analyse data

Here you will explore:

  • reasons for analysing data
  • four steps to data analysis
  • two examples of data analysis from the Children, Young People and Flooding project
data analysis flowchart. Long description via link.

Where data analysis fits into the process of working with flood-affected communities

Why analyse data? Data you have collected can be used simply as evidence of your community engagement activity, but it can also be analysed to better understand people’s experiences and perspectives and help develop further flood resilience work or support decision making.

Data analysis flowchart Here are four basic steps to data analysis:

Flowchart of data analysis in 4 steps. Long description via link

*Because of the huge amount of data produced during the Children, Young People and Flooding project, and because of the poor conditions in which much of the data was recorded (e.g. outside in windy conditions, or indoors in a noisy workshop setting), it was only possible to transcribe sections of the data from the Group Conversations.

Example 1 One major theme that emerged during the analysis of the Children, Young People and Flooding Project was Children as active contributors in flood response and recovery.

In the transcripts the team found instances of children describing how they had been actively engaged both in the immediate response to the flood events and during the recovery process. Examples included checking on neighbours, helping to move their own and other people’s furniture upstairs and joining in with the clean-up.

Daniel, aged 14:

We’ve a lot of elderly people down our road. I wanted to help them – they had no one. I went to see if they wanted anything taking upstairs.

Richard, aged 14:

I had to unplug all the electricals, put the speakers up high. We also had to stack a sofa on a sofa, put chairs and the rug on top… to make sure they were safe.

The children and young people generally described this role as a positive one, expressing satisfaction about how they had been able to support others in difficulty. For example, Sara served tea and coffee to evacuated families and rescue teams at her local village hall and Avril and Helena gave up a riding lesson to help clean up their friend’s house.

Sara, aged 14:

I felt quite good at myself then. I could have been home just watching TV and I was actually constructive and helping people..

Avril, aged 9 and Helena aged 10:

No way would we have let our friend have to do it all herself… because we would be guilty. We didn’t even have to make a choice.

One young man, aged 19 at the time and a university student, described his role with a community volunteer group, formed in response to the flooding. The youngest member of the team, he went out delivering sandbags and food parcels in what he described as ‘hazardous conditions’:

…It sounds horrible … I’m taking personal achievement out of dealing with someone’s house but… I don’t know, there’s a sense of pride… There’s a sense of pride in that.

Example 2 Another important theme that emerged from this project was Children’s understanding of flood adaptation and new normalities.

The transcripts highlighted the children’s high level of ‘flood awareness’. This was shown by their concern about the likelihood of further flooding and a fear that that the community had not taken measures to prepare for next time and just wanted to get ‘back to normal’:

Jodi, aged 14:

I’m just kind of like worried it’s going to happen again this year… I suppose I’m going to worry every year, though. Even if it doesn’t happen, we’re still going to worry.

Daniel, aged 14:

… People do kind of forget about what it was like a year ago… They forget it could happen again.

At the same time, many of the young people demonstrated an understanding of the need for families and communities to adapt to a ‘new normal’ that ensured they were prepared. Britney, aged 8 described her family’s plans:

We’ve sorted out next time. We’ve got a flood toilet… The floodwater can’t go inside it… And then we’re gonna turn all the lights off… and we’re gonna go upstairs. And then we’re gonna put some candles on… And we’re gonna get loads of food.

Workshop clay, cork and feather Model

Richard’s Resilience Raft

The data included a photograph of a model Richard had made of a person sitting on a raft. The transcripts revealed his reasons for making this and his understanding of the need for communities to learn to live with flood risk:

It’s a little raft and there’s a person sitting on it. They’re all prepared… They didn’t realise that it would have ever flooded but now they realise that it will more than likely flood again, so they’ve bought themselves a little raft that I made…

Richard, aged 14

In the case of the Children, Young People and Flooding project, the team identified six main themes from the data that later became principal research findings. These findings are explained in our Children Young People and Flooding Report and expanded on in academic papers and flood narratives.

Please reference as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University