Why should we prepare for flood incidents and emergencies?

In order for our emergency services and responders to react to a flood incident, effectively and in a coordinated manner with others, flood emergency plans are needed. These plans identify roles and responsibilities, effective lines of communication, and response procedures. They are then embedded within the response team through training, and rehearsed in realistic exercises. Training and exercising is of course a legal requirement for all our Category 1 and 2 responders, under the Civil Contingencies Act.

Train, Exercise and EvaluateFlood Preparedness Cycle

The ‘Preparedness Cycle’ shows how the plans our responders develop (be they Major Incident Plans, deployment plans, flood warning plans and procedures etc.), can be continually improved through training, exercising and evaluating. Emergency plans must be continually validated to:

  • TRAIN staff or members of the community who are likely to respond
  • EXERCISE the plan with challenging scenarios in realistic conditions
  • EVALUATE individual, organisation and/or community response.

It is imperative that emergency plans are tested in a safe training environment, in which duty response staff can develop their learning, gaining confidence and competence, before they are exposed to the demands of a real-life incident. Structured training should therefore be a core element of all staff induction to a duty role. Exercises can take the form of table-top discussions, control post exercises or live deployment exercises – all of which our team have designed and delivered previously for Category 1 and 2 responders (such as the Environment Agency, LRF partners, Network Rail etc) and community flood groups.

Our Exercise Management System (JEMS) combines inject management, scenario-specific datasets and imagery with live data feeds into a single easy to use portal.

Watch a short JEMS demonstration

Evaluating the actions of responders helps to identify where improvements can be made, arrangements can be refined, and where information may need updating to inform the next revision of the Plan. Debriefs help to gather feedback and evaluate the training and exercising, with targeted and prioritised Action Plans used to capture improvements.

Welsh Emergency Planning Society Annual Conference

The theme of next week’s Annual Conference of the Welsh branch of the Emergency Planning Society is “Why Exercise”, the topic Phil Emonson, our Flood Resilience Lead, will be discussing. The conference is an opportunity for emergency planners and responders to share different perspectives, case studies and learning lessons.

Following the horrendous terror attack at the Manchester Arena in May, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, stated “”We regularly carry out exercises to test our ability to respond to such instances, and this has ensured a very swift response from local and national agencies.” This endorses the importance of planning, training, exercising and evaluating for improving our preparedness.

Want to know more?

If you can’t attend the Annual Conference of the Welsh branch of the Emergency Planning Society please email Phil Emonson or call him on  01392 904040 for further information.

You can also visit our Flood Emergency Planning web page to find out more about our work in Flood Resilience.

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