Flood response tests ‘prepare area for future’

Flood Test: Coun Susan Press.
Flood Test: Coun Susan Press.

Calderdale Council and its flood partner organisations recently rehearsed the actions they would take during and after a flood to ensure the best possible preparation for any future incidents.

The first ‘response’ exercise involved council staff and local flood wardens working together to practise opening flood hubs across Calderdale and to test radio and IT systems and operations in the immediate response to a flood.

During the second ‘recovery’ exercise, people from Calderdale Council, the Environment Agency, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, the NHS and Yorkshire Ambulance Service joined forces to rehearse their response to a range of scenarios that might happen in the aftermath of a flood.

Participants discussed a series of actions looking at infrastructure, business, flood hubs, community, health and business continuity. Tasks ranged from collecting and sharing data to helping residents find alternative accommodation.

During the hypothetical flood incident there was also a cold snap, testing the ability of the council and other organisations to handle multiple incidents.

Meanwhile, Calderdale residents, businesses and schools are being encouraged to do their bit to protect their property and family from possible flooding this winter.

Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, said: “Calderdale flood partners have now carried out five flood response and recovery exercises since the Boxing Day 2015 floods.

“It’s important to put responses to the test to help ensure Calderdale is as resilient as possible.

“The exercises have resulted in greater familiarity with the actions required and more streamlined processes to better prepare for any future incidents.”