With floods sweeping across the country and affecting new areas every week, online flood information technology has played an integral role in supporting communities across the UK as they try to predict and prepare for severe weather conditions. By providing instant access to the latest weather data and water levels, access to online information has helped over 2.5 million people to plan journeys, avoid flood-stricken areas and prepare for all eventualities since the crisis began in December. Since last Friday alone, the Shoothill FloodAlerts service which is built on Microsoft technology, has received 1.6 million online visitors.
FloodAlerts collates data provided by the Environment Agency to monitor water levels across the UK, allows you to search for any specific area of the country and view the status of flood warnings and other information such as determining if your intended route is underwater. You can also set up alerts to find out if your hometown is at risk from flooding, as soon as the data is available. The site has also helped the emergency services plan alternative routes in particularly badly hit areas.
Usually, the service receives only a fraction of the number of visitors it has this past week, but it was able to easily withstand the unpredictable peak in demand because it runs on Microsoft Windows Azure cloud technology. The technology allows the system to be scaled up quickly to run at a much higher scale than would normally be expected of it, meaning that FloodAlerts has been able to seamlessly provide support to millions of people across the country.
The weather data is updated frequently at critical times like this so communities can be kept up to date about what’s going on in their area. To visit the site and see for yourself if any flood warnings are heading your way, please visit: http://www.shoothill.com/FloodMap/