Severe Weather Readiness
Winter is on it’s way… In light of last years storms and heavy snowfall over the past few years our status as Flood Wardens has been updated to cover other Emergencies as well and we have recently received the latest Emergency and Flood Plan for Borth and Ynyslas. We’ve also been forwarded some news from Ceredigion County Council about their readiness for severe weather this winter so I thought I’d share it here as it is useful for all.
Severe Weather Readiness in Ceredigion
In advance of winter, the Ceredigion County Council has reviewed its capabilities and preparations to deal with the possibility of severe weather this year, in furtherance of its responsibility to act to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events on local residents, the economy and infrastructure, and reduce the risk in the first place.
Extreme weather events are becoming more common and an integrated response is essential to provide effective co-ordination of resources. Locally, ongoing meetings have been held involving relevant Council service areas such as Assets & Infrastructure, Municipal & Environmental, Lifestyle, Housing, Adult Social Care, and the Community Safety & Civil Contingencies Unit, to ensure that arrangements for appropriate responses are in place, and liaison with our external partners including the Dyfed-Powys Police, the Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales, the Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations, the British Red Cross, and St John’s Ambulance, continues.
Within the Region, the Local Authority also works closely with the Dyfed-Powys Local Resilience Forum (LRF). The LRF develops appropriate arrangements for co-ordinated and effective emergency planning to enhance the Regions response, resilience, and capability in the event of emergencies, and ensures Category 1 Responder (Police, Fire & Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, HM Coastguard, Natural Resources Wales, National Public Health Service, Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Local Authorities) compliance with all statutory requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act, 2004.
Flooding has been identified as a major ongoing risk for the County, and the apparent change in weather patterns may lead to increased frequency of future major incidents of this nature.
The unpredictability of such incidents necessitates ongoing planning and exercising in order that we may continue to provide an effective response in terms of the safety of our communities. To this end, we have a tried and tested Major Incident Plan and Flood Plan in place, and specialised Rest Centre Training has been regularly undertaken to ensure that our Leisure Centre Staff, Social Care Staff and Partners are fully conversant with their roles and responsibilities in the event that safe havens need to be provided for the Public during a major incident or evacuation.
Throughout the year, together with our partners, we have worked to promote awareness of risk, and the sustainability of communities through voluntary work and community resilience. Natural Resources Wales have been actively promoting their Flood Alert warning system to residents, as well as providing expert advice to Home owners, and our own Civil Contingencies Staff have worked with them to encourage and support those communities most at risk to develop and implement their own localised Flood Plans, and consider severe weather responses.
Gritting Routes have also already been published in the local press, providing a County overview of priority and secondary routes.
In order to comply with statutory requirements in terms of warning and informing the public of severe weather threats, we have pursued further improvements to the Local Authority website, which has been updated to include general advice and guidance, and promoted the use of social media sites to improve communication flow between the Local Authority and the Public.
The following links also provide further useful information:
Advice in Emergencies (Ceredigion County Council Civil Contingencies’ Emergency Advice, Severe Weather Information, Preparing for a Flood, Community Resilience, Emergency Contacts)
MET Office (MET Office Get Ready for Winter Campaign information)
Natural Resources Wales (Natural Resources Wales’ advice on what to do before, during, and after a flood)
Dyfed-Powys Community Risk Register (Dyfed-Powys LRF Community Risk Register – list of risks that could occur in the Region and what is being done and how to prepare)
Highways During Winter (Winter Service Plan 2014/15 – Highways during winter -Councils function / Precautionary salting routes / Ceredigion’s resources / Safe driving tips)
NEST (Tips to help you keep warm and save money on your energy bills)