A student at the University of Salford has developed an app that aims to prepare families should their homes flood. 

Candace James, 56, became inspired to develop the app, called Augmented Resilience Knowledge (ARK), after over 600 homes and 200 businesses in Salford were flooded in 2015.

Mrs James is studying an Environmental Science Doctorate at the University of Salford, has developed the app using Microsoft’s Hololens technology with a £27,000 grant from the university.

“Flood training, or flood drills, should be a part of everyone’s lives,” said Candace.

“It’s not just about physical flooding resilience, it’s about mental resilience and emotional wellbeing.”

ARK aims to prepare people for floods by showing how a flood is affected by things such as window placement, sandbags blocking doorways and the importance of unplugging electricals.

Augmented reality is employed so that users can map out their homes to give a more personalised experience.

Salford is particularly prone to floods because it sits at the bottom of the River Irwell and as other towns have developed flood prevention measures, the excess water flows down to Salford.

The last time the Irwell overflowed was Boxing Day 2015, with several hundred families being affected by it.

Jade Perrie, a project coordinator at Salford University’s ICZ, believes that the app will benefit poorer communities the most.

“This type of project is really going to help communities,” she said, “especially those with lower incomes who then can’t get back on their feet easily.”

Since the 2015 Boxing Day floods, Salford City Council has added a flood basin at a cost of £10 million which aims to contain excess water until water levels naturally lower.

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