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What is a Safe Refuge?

File:Gustave Doré - The Holy Bible - Plate I, The Deluge.jpg

A temporary “safe refuge” - is any place or structure where individuals trapped by floodwater (those who did not receive or ignored flood warnings) can remain for a short period in relative safety whilst awaiting rescue. Provision of refuges within buildings makes developments safer. PPS 25, para 4.66 states - safe refuges play a role in reducing the overall risk of flooding.


Safe refuges should be above the 0.1%AEP event tide level at the end of the development’s life. Effectively this means most buildings in the flood plain need to be greater than 1 storey high. 


Unlike the bare rock in the image. A safe refuge should be provisioned with food to last around 5 days, as some floods have lasted that long. Perhaps the most important consideration is water (ironically). You will need around 2 liters per person per day. That would be around 25 liters for an average family.


The official provisioning guidance says to keep biscuits in you flood store. This is highly impractical as you would have to rotate stock to account for short use-by dates and the very high likelihood of your children or dog eating the biscuits before a flood occurs.


We fully anticipate a packet of ginger nut biscuits to last no longer than 2 weeks from the date of purchase.


Life Boat rations (we think) present the solution as they are boring, and don't taste very nice. Very unlikely to be eaten unless there is an emergency! Plus they have a very long shelf life.


Please feel free to contact the office for an informal discussion regarding your safe refuge requirements. We normally describe provisioning of safe refuges in our Flood Warning and Evacuations Plans.

Gustave Doré (1832-1883)The "Pannemaker" in the lower right refers to Adolphe François Pannemaker (1822-1900) one of Doré's assistants in turning his art into a full-fledged engraving, and a reasonably notable engraver in his own right. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Read more on:

Flood Resilient Design - Flood Resistant Design - Temporary Refuges - Surface Water Management