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Multi-Coloured Manual

The Multi-Coloured Manual

In the last four decades, FHRC has produced five Manuals bringing together information on the impacts of flooding and coastal erosion. In 1977, the "Blue Manual" was the first document to provide guidance on appraising flood hazards in the UK, involving both damage to urban properties and the benefits of protecting agricultural land. This was followed by the "Red Manual" in 1987, which investigated in greater detail the indirect or secondary effects of floods, as well as updating material on industrial, commercial and retail flood damages. In 1992 we produced the "Yellow Manual" which focused on coastal erosion and flooding problems, and systematised the assessment of the "intangible" impacts of coastal erosion on beach recreation and other use values of the coast previously left as unquantifiable.

During 2001/04 we were tasked by DEFRA (the Department of  Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, formerly MAFF) to update all this work and produced in 2005 the "Multi-Coloured Manual (MCM)", the "Multi-Coloured Handbook" and the "Multicoloured CD". This involved a major review of the use of the previous manuals, through surveys investigating strengths and weaknesses perceived by users in the consulting, engineering and flood defence community, and also a major update of damage data in the retail, commercial, industrial and residential sectors. In turn the Environment Agency commissioned FHRC in 2009/10 to update all this data, based on new research and the floods that occurred in 2007.  In 2010 we produced the "Multi-Coloured Handbook - 2010" and the "Multicoloured CD - 2010".

MCM Update - 2013
In late 2011, a substantial revision of the 2005 MCM commenced in order to reflect new research and address the needs presented by new partnership funding arrangements for flood risk management. This involved adding new data on flood impacts such as evacuation costs and vehicle damage. We also analysed the data used to calculate flood impacts on commercial properties, to determine where uncertainties lie and what improvements can be made.
This new 2013 "Multi-Coloured Manual" is now available from Hive. The accompanying "Handbook and Data" is also available to download electronically from the new website: MCM-Online.


Environment Agency/Defra


2011 – 2014

FHRC Project Manager:

Professor Edmund Penning-Rowsell

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