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Extending our Flood Warning Service

What: We are sending text messages to around 15,000 people to tell them that they have been automatically added to the flood warning service. The service is free and customers can go on to choose to receive warnings in English or Welsh.

Where: We will be sending text messages most flood warning areas in Wales that have been submitted by area colleagues.

When: The messages will be sent on 11 October (weather permitting).

Why: The messages will inform people that they have been automatically registered for flood warnings and will include a link to a page on the Natural Resources Wales website which will provide them with the Floodline number should they want to fully register to the service. The can also choose to opt-out of the service by replying to the text message.

How: Around 15,000 automated text messages will be sent through the Flood Warning System.

Responses: Customers will be directed to a page on the Natural Resources Wales website or to call Floodline for more information. However, they may call or email Customer Care Centre with enquiries.

Background

Since 2010 Natural Resources Wales, in partnership with the Environment Agency, has worked with British Telecom to access and automatically register landline phone numbers in high risk areas onto our flood warning system. By March 2017, this resulted in over 40,000 addresses that hadn’t previously signed up to our service getting direct flood warnings.

To reflect the move towards mobile telephones in preference to landline, we started also working with four mobile providers.

Under an agreement based on the Civil Contingencies Act between EE and NRW, we were able to obtain information relating to the registered address for mobile devices on their network. This resulted in a further 15,000 properties being added to the flood warning service by June 2017.

We have since reached a similar agreement with Three to register their mobile customers that are not yet signed up to the service. This will enable us to send direct warnings to an estimated 15,000 additional properties in Wales. Three mobile customers will receive relevant flood warning and severe flood warning messages for their billing address from 11 October 2018 – weather permitting. 

We are also working with Vodafone to further extend the service over the next 6 months.

Schedule for adding Three customers

On 11 October we will send text messages to 15,000 Three customers to tell them that their phone number has been added to our free flood warning service.

The text messages will be sent through our Flood Warning System to Three customers with a billing address in our Flood Warning areas.

On the day we will check the weather conditions and will not proceed if any bad weather is forecast or any flood warnings are issued. Due to the large number of messages that need to be sent we may need to amend the schedule at short notice in order to send the text messages out as quickly as possible.

Message Content

We will be sending one bilingual text message to each customer to inform them that they are now registered to the service. The message will provide a link to our website for more information and allows the customer to reply with a text message to opt out of the service.

Helo gan Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru. Rydych yn byw mewn ardal perygl llifogydd. Byddwn yn cysylltu â’r rhif hwn yn Saesneg os bydd rhybudd llifogydd yn eich ardal – am ddim. Hello from Natural Resources Wales. You live in a flood risk area. We’ll contact this number if there’s a flood warning in your area – for free. Gwybodaeth/Info: www.cyfoethnaturiol.cymru/warning Optio allan: tecstiwch DILEU i 60006. To opt out: text REMOVE to 60006.

Customers who choose not to opt out of the service will receive a phone call each time a Flood Warning or Severe Flood Warning is issued for their billing address. This will be in English language only. If they visit our web page, customers will be encouraged to fully register to the service so that they can state their language preference and receive warnings by SMS and email.

More Information

For more information please contact: 

Lucy Edwards
Advisor, Flood Warning & Informing
Natural Resources Wales
lucy.edwards@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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