June 2013

Request:

Via telephone, a question about flood defences and actions taken to safeguard against them.

Outcome:

Information provided

Response:

In order to manage the risk of flooding The National Archives has undertaken an assessment of the flood risk; please find attached a copy of a Flood Risk Assessment undertaken as part of a buildings project in 2009, this is the current risk assessment document.

Aside from this document we can confirm that the two buildings that make up The National Archives site were designed with the proximity of the Thames in mind, and that both buildings are fully sealed at basement level and the repositories that house the records are at ground floor level or above. The flood risk assessment indicates that thanks to significant flood defence banks in this area we are protected up to the 1 in a 1000 year line - when 1 in a 100 years is considered acceptable for this type of building.

The ponds on the site of the archives form part of the excess water control system in that they provide 4 hours surface water buffering to allow collection of excess surface water until the river tide goes out and this water drains to the river.

Aside from these precautions in consultation with the Collection Care Department we have an incident management procedure which caters for events such as flooding to ensure the safety of the records.