Mary Dhonau Associates (MDA) is a specialist independent community flood consultancy working to raise local flood awareness by advising and assisting on flood prevention and resilience.
All of MDA’s consultants have personally suffered flooding in their own homes. They have frequently been cited as positive role models not only in preparing for such events, but also by instigating a wide range of flood resilience and protection in their properties. Mary Dhonau herself is a trusted and respected voice within the community, with extensive experience of working with people in flood risk areas as well as Government agencies and MPs. As the former Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum, she acted as a witness to the Pitt Review and has been a Member of the Cabinet Office Community Resilience Programme Steering Group, served on the expert panel for the Welsh Government research into support for communities affected by flooding and on the steering group for communicating local flood risk management.
Carly Rose, who has recently joined Mary Dhonau Associates, formerly worked for the Environment Agency for many years including a variety of Flood Risk Management roles, her final post being as that function’s Business Planner for England and Wales. She subsequently moved into academia, commencing a PhD focussing on household flood-coping strategies in 2008 and has participated in a wide variety of research projects (for example flood repair; community resilience; SUDS). She is not only an articulate and confident presenter, but also has considerable expertise in writing for a wide variety of audiences, ranging from Plain English (suitable for the general audience) to fully referenced academic journal papers.
Mary Dhonau Associates consultants have in-depth knowledge of current government strategies, flood resilience and insurance issues and are now able to offer expert literature reviews, synthesis reports and the like for public or private sector organisations. We can provide an ethical and realistic response to a wide range of questions and concerns as well as reassurance and expert advice on recovery and restoration post-flood to householders and businesses alike. We have a comprehensive knowledge of flood resistance and resilience, maintaining a wide selection of kite-marked flood protection products, literature and guides enabling us to offer completely independent advice to individuals, Local Authorities (LAs) and groups. Past clients have included the Environment Agency (working with local communities to raise awareness of flood risks and facilitate the journey to flood resilience In each target area our methodology resulted in a vastly increased take-up of the Flood Warnings Direct service) and we are currently working with Northamptonshire County Council on surface water flooding issues, as part of the ‘Pathfinder’ community engagement initiative sponsored by Defra.
For quality engagement to succeed, communities and individuals must be convinced that their views will be heard and taken into account and this includes talking to those who can empathise, understand and acknowledge their anxieties and beliefs. In 2013 we were commissioned to research and write a comprehensive Flood Recovery Guide (which was warmly received by the communities flooded in the winter of 2013/14) and have recently undertaken an update and expansion of the ‘Household Guide to Flood Resilience’ on behalf of the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign. We developed the ‘Guide to preparing an Emergency Household Plan’ which can be easily customised to meet local needs (sample copies are available to download from our website).
The weather patterns in the UK now confirm that flooding is now becoming a year round possibility further highlighting the need for communities to be prepared for the worst. As a small and pro-active company we are able to offer competitive charges and a customised programme of work to suit individual communities/projects.