Flood risk areas prepared for emergencies says independent report

England and Wales are now better prepared than ever to respond to major flooding, says an independent report published today.

10,000 people took part in Britain’s biggest ever civil emergency exercise, Exercise Watermark, last March to test the country’s response to floods. The Exercise Watermark report published today shows that emergency services in areas at risk of flooding are well prepared to keep people safe in a major flood. Defra has awarded £2.5 million in grants to improve emergency responses to floods in the last eighteen months.

These are being used to:

  • triple the number of boat rescue teams, by April 2012;
  • provide specialist flood rescue training for emergency responders, including local flood rescue volunteers in flood-risk areas; and
  • provide vital new equipment such as vehicles, outboard motors and diving equipment.

Flooding Minister, Richard Benyon said:

“We are more prepared than ever to protect peoples’ lives, homes and businesses from the devastating effects of floods. Staging Exercise Watermark was a true test of how we react to flooding and keep people safe and, while there are lessons to be learnt, I’m pleased to say, it is a test we all came through.

“The Government has given £2.5 million to councils and emergency services over the last eighteen months to increase the number of expert flood rescue teams and allow them to buy important equipment. As a result, they are more prepared than ever before to keep people safe when the time comes that they need to act.”

Read more on the Defra website…


Lifejackets for lifesavers – South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

Volunteers at the 35 RNLI lifeboat stations in the south west are supporting a campaign to raise the £220,000 needed to buy them all new lifejackets. The two brand new types of lifejacket were designed through joint collaboration between the RNLI and the manufacturer to meet the charity’s current search and rescue requirements.

It was back in 1854 that an RNLI Inspector called Captain Ward invented a cork lifejacket that proved a lifesaver on numerous occasions. But since those days, the charity has always looked to advance and improve its safety equipment, from kapok lifejackets to Beaufort lifejackets and the present day design. Read more on the RNLI website…

RNLI Sea Safety team hold lifejacket clinic

RNLI Sea Safety team were invited to demonstrate the maintenance of lifejackets. These are relaxed and free lifejacket clinics given by the RNLI voluntary sea safety teams to anyone involved with wearing a lifejacket enabling people to understand the way lifejackets work and how to keep them maintained.

Read more on the RNLI website…

Facebook to connect communities at risk of flooding

A new support network for those affected by and at risk of flooding has been created on Facebook.

Flood Group UK is a new page to help communities at risk of flooding to support each other. The group is being launched today by government organisations and flood forums from across the UK. With around 5.4 million properties in the UK at risk of flooding, it is important that individuals and communities take steps to prepare themselves for flooding as winter approaches.

Flood Group UK enables communities to share information, experiences and advice about flooding. It also contains a flood directory with information on how to find out if you are at risk of flooding, how to sign up for free flood warnings and what simple steps you can take to protect your property. Read more on the EA Website…


RNLI urges people to put safety first this October half term

The RNLI Divisional Lifeguard Manager for Cornwall, said: ‘We’d recommend that beach users choose a lifeguarded beach and follow the lifeguards’ advice. Those who can’t make it to a lifeguarded beach can help keep themselves safe by taking note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, going with a friend or telling someone on the shore where they are going, at the same time always being aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water.

Those who enjoy walking and exploring the coastline should also check the local tide times’.

Read more on the RNLI website…

Coastguard remind leisure boat users to be prepared

Following three separate incidents within an hour of each other the Coastguard have reminded leisure boat users to be better prepared when putting to sea, reiterating safety measures.

Remember to:

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Get trained – knowledge of your activity is essential
  • Carry some means of calling for help
  • Check your engine and fuel
  • Check the weather and tide conditions before heading out
  • Tell others where you are going.

Read more on the MCA website…

The new BSAC Snorkeler training programme

The 31st October is the official launch date for BSAC’s new Snorkeler Training Programme for branches.  Bringing all the current training materials up-to-date, with new training packs, Instructor Manual and resources, the BSAC Snorkeler Training Programme will enable even more BSAC clubs to provide snorkel training and bring more young people and families into BSAC

Read more on the BSAC website…