Working together to keep communities safe
Flooding is an issue that affects the whole of the UK and an issue which the North Wales Resilience Forum has been very concerned about and has featured in the Community Risk Register since the first edition over 10 years ago. Plans have been developed and updated and used as templates by staff in both training ‘exercises’ and live events such as the 2012 St Asaph floods.
In October 2016, sixteen staff from North Wales responding agencies took part in Exercise Eupathy, an exercise looking at wide spread flooding across North Wales. March 2017 saw a large scale conference at Venue Cymru, with over 100 people attending to learn about responses to flooding from across the UK and to learn from victims and Flood Wardens about their experiences.
Over the coming weeks this work progresses with exercises planned to further develop the links between communities and responding organisations in order that our preparations are fit for purpose.
The aim of the exercises is ‘to improve knowledge and multi-agency preparedness for flooding events by demonstrating the effectiveness of the Community Flood Plans’. Representatives from the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, Natural Resources Wales, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Welsh Water, Scottish Power and the Military, will work in groups in a desktop session around a flooding scenario, alongside volunteers including those from British Red Cross, Search and Rescue agencies and Flood Wardens from the local communities.
Deputy Chief Constable, Gareth Pritchard, Chair of the North Wales Resilience Forum said, “Exercises such as these are a great way to test our ability as well as our partners to deal with a range of flooding issues, and are just a few of the examples of the important work that all agencies are doing to help local communities improve their resilience. We value the contribution that Flood Wardens make to their communities in increasing resilience and these exercises are the next step in our preparedness for North Wales. ”
The first of the sessions will take place on 21 September in Fairbourne, followed up with a session in Rhyl Splash Point on 16 October.
The North Wales Resilience Forum is made up of all local Emergency Services, including Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Local Authorities, BETSI Cad UHB & Public Health Wales, Natural Resources Wales, Utilities, Transport, HSE, and includes WAG, Military, other specialist government depts., the Voluntary sector and Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency.