Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - More weather worries, as flood warnings spread across UK

The Environment Agency has announced a “national crisis” after storms and floods ravaged communities across England and Wales, with more flooding still predicted.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 26 November

More weather worries, as flood warnings spread across UK

The Environment Agency has announced a “national crisis” after storms and floods ravaged communities across England and Wales, with more flooding still predicted.

Over the past few days, the torrential weather has left more than 800 homes damaged and two people dead.

A 21-year-old woman, was killed by a tree falling on her tent in Exeter and a 70-year-old man died after his car crashed into a swollen river in Cambridgeshire. A number of people have also been reported missing since the flooding started.

In parts of Wales and northern England, several weeks’ worth of rain is expected to fall in the next 24 hours. Downpours of 50–70mm may hit some areas in the north-west, while more than 230 flood warnings and 277 alerts have been declared, most in the Midlands and south-west of England.

Police in Devon and Cornwall - the worst hit counties so far - have urged people to avoid travelling as abandoned cars, high water levels and fallen tree branches are proving hazardous.

Nathan Hudson from West Midlands Ambulance Service told Metro: “People who attempt to pass through flooded roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of emergency services staff who have to rescue them.”

The AA answered about 12,000 breakdown calls on Sunday, including almost 700 cases of people caught in flood water or mud.

Pete Fox, the Environment Agency's head of flood risk strategy, told the Daily Mail: “We would urge people to remain vigilant as further flooding is possible. People at flood risk should move their valuable possessions to a safe place before the heavy rain falls.”

Forecasters have predicted weather will improve later in the week.

Until then, people stuck in flood areas should follow the Environment Agency’s guidance. While it may be too late to ensure homes have the right materials to combat excessive water, the agency recommends that people prepare a flood kit. This should include important documents, such as insurance certificates and personal identification, a torch, wind-up or battery radio, spare batteries, blankets, warm and waterproof clothing, as well as a first aid kit, bottled water, tinned food, a mobile phone and any personal items that are irreplaceable.

The Agency also advises people who think their homes may be in danger to turn off power supplies, move furniture and electrical items to safety, to roll up carpets and rugs and to use flood boards, polythene bags and sandbags to cover gaps and minimise damage.

People concerned about flood warnings in their area should phone the Agency’s Floodline on: 0845 988 1188.

Questions for discussion

General Discussion

  • Do you know anyone who has been affected by the recent flooding, or who has been affected by flooding in the past?
  • How do you think the people whose homes have been damaged might feel?
  • If you knew that your area would be flooded, which of your possessions would you most want to keep safe?
  • In your opinion, which items on the flood kit list suggested by the Environment Agency are the most important and why?

Related resources

Flood persuasive writing

  • Pupils must persuade people to protect their homes against flooding with this TESiboard interactive news story activity.


  • Explain the causes and effects of flooding with this comprehensive presentation.

Flood response team

  • Help pupils to understand how to deal with flooding in this lesson which asks them to create a flood plan.

Flood prevention

  • Analyse the pros and cons of different prevention systems in this geography lesson.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week

The bloodshed between Israel and the Palestinians over the Gaza strip may have been halted but the likelihood of a long-standing peace deal in the region is as remote as ever.

Women bishops will not be welcomed into the Church of England after The General Synod decided to stick with tradition in a narrow vote.

The governing body of the Church of England is due to vote on whether it will allow women to become bishops – or continue debating the issue for several more years.

A landmark, female-only driving school in Bangladesh aims to cut the high fatality rate on the country’s male-dominated roads.

In the news archive index