60 years on significant improvements and changes have been made to how we manage and reduce flood risk.
On 31 January 1953 the East Coast of England was devastated by the worst flooding in living memory.
A massive storm generated very strong winds, enormous waves and a large tidal surge. In one bitterly cold night, much of the East Coast from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and through to London and Kent experienced major flooding.
Over 300 people died on the East coast, 24,500 homes were damaged or destroyed and over 30,000 people were evacuated. In Holland 1800 people died.
60 years on - what's changed?
Since that devastating night in 1953, many improvements and changes have been made to help manage and reduce flood risk.
UK Coastal Monitoring and Forecasting service
The UK Coastal Monitoring and Forecasting service (previously the Storm Tide forecasting service) was set up as a result of the 1953 east coast floods. It provides a comprehensive coastal flood forecasting service that ensures people at risk of flooding from the sea can be warned in good time.
The Flood Forecasting Centre
The Flood Forecasting Centre was set up in 2007 by the Environment Agency and the Met Office to provide a national forecasting and alerting service to responders. The Centre operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and gives emergency responders longer lead times and more targeted information.
Flood warning service
We are now also able to directly warn and inform communities in advance of flooding. Our free flood warning service gives advance notice of flooding from rivers and the sea by phone, mobile, email and text giving people vital time to prepare.
Ever wondered how we predict flooding and get warnings out to people at risk? This Prezi provides a simple explanation:
Investment in flood and coastal defences
Since 1953, we've made significant investments in flood and coastal defences and have carried out a major sea defence construction programme. These defences have been maintained, extended and, in some cases, rebuilt over the last 25 years. The Thames Barrier was built in 1983 and continues to protect London and its surrounding communities from storm surges.
How to prepare for flooding from the sea
Despite improvements, the risk of flooding from the sea remains a threat. You can take easy steps to make sure you are prepared for flooding.
You can also help us to raise awareness of flooding by sharing your photographs of past floods on Flickr.