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…
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…
Defra’s strategy for managing flood risk in England as outlined in ‘Making Space for Water’ calls for a portfolio of measures for managing flood risk. Temporary and Demountable systems are increasingly forming an important part of this portfolio.
Following publication of the Interim Guidance on the use of Temporary and Demountable Flood Defences by the Environment Agency in 2002, there have been many advances in the variety and forms of flood products available.
To capture information on new products, associated developments and lessons learnt from use since 2002 the Environment Agency commissioned this update of the interim guidance. Read the guidance on the EA website…
Exercise Sula was held in Scotland in May to test the UK’s response to an uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons into the sea from a deep water well. This was the first time an exercise has been held using a deep water scenario. It was also the first major, national exercise to incorporate all aspects of the national contingency plan (NCP) and the full establishment of various response cells.
Read more on the MCA website…