A ground-breaking scheme to send free Environment Agency flood warnings to EE mobile phone users will be completed this week.
Around 1,800 EE customers registered in specific flood risk areas across the North East will receive a welcome telephone message from the organisation’s Floodline Warnings Direct service on Wednesday.
The initiative is the first of its kind in England and follows successful roll-outs in March and July this year in other areas of the country.
Following those pilots, less than one per cent of people added to the service decided to opt-out.
Since 2010, Floodline Warnings Direct has enabled the Environment Agency to automatically register and send warnings to 600,000 homes and business landline numbers, but this is first time that flood warnings will be issued directly through a mobile phone provider.
Jason Rees, EE’s director of new business, said: “This new initiative clearly demonstrates the positive contribution that mobile technology makes to our every-day lives.
“Floodline Warnings Direct offers our customers a free and essential service.”
Ben McCarthy, the Environment Agency’s flood resilience team leader for Northumberland, Durham and Tees, added: “We want to ensure that everyone has as much time as possible to prepare for flooding and by working with EE, we’re now able to warn even more people about the risks.
“Flood warnings save lives and this ground-breaking initiative is another way to provide the public with vital time to protect their belongings and get themselves and their families out of harm’s way.”
The organisation is now planning to work with other mobile providers to extend the warning service and reach more people directly.
People can check their flood risk and register for free warnings by visiting www.gov.uk/flood or calling Floodline on 0345 9881188.