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Community resilience

Introduction 

Parish and town councils can play an important role in alleviating the impact of an emergency.

Various measures can be considered to support communities. These include:

  • Developing a community emergency plan
  • Acquiring a resilience store
  • Participating in the Environment Agency’s flood warden scheme
  • Participating in Nottinghamshire County Council’s flood signage scheme.

Please note these measures are voluntary and are not designed to replace any assistance provided by the emergency services or other organisations.

Although parish / town councils are responsible for the implementation of these schemes, support will be available from Rushcliffe Borough Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and the Environment Agency.

For more information, please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre and request to speak with Rushcliffe Borough Council’s emergency planning officer.

Further advice on flooding, including a list of frequently asked questions, is available at: www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/flooding

Flood warden schemes

The Environment Agency operates a voluntary flood warden scheme for communities at risk of fluvial flooding. Flood wardens act as a link between the community, Environment Agency and local authorities to help co-ordinate the response.

This role can include:

  • Observing and reporting instances of flooding
  • Setting-up local patrols to monitor flooding
  • Liaising with the Environment Agency, emergency services and local authorities about conditions and needs on-scene during a flood
  • Passing on information to residents and businesses (e.g. visiting people at risk to check that flood alerts / warnings have been received)
  • Requesting assistance for people who are struggling to carry out essential actions to safeguard themselves or their property.

Flood wardens are not expected to personally help other residents move furniture or evacuate people within their community, nor would they be asked to operate flood defences or drainage assets.

To be a flood warden, volunteers generally need to:

  • Have an interest in serving their local community
  • Have good local knowledge of the area
  • Be reasonably fit and mobile
  • Be personable and able to explain information to residents in a clear and friendly manner
  • Preferably live close to the area at risk of flooding
  • Be available to liaise with the community and Environment Agency.

Further detail is available in the Environment Agency’s guide on the role of community flood wardens.

For more information on joining the scheme, please contact Nottinghamshire County Council’s emergency planning team via 0115 977 3471 or email: emergency.planning@nottscc.gov.uk

Community emergency plans

Although parish and town councils do not have a statutory responsibility to plan for emergencies, communities are encouraged to identify risks within their area and consider measures that could be taken to complement the response of the emergency services and other organisations.

Emergencies can affect communities in different ways, including:

  • Damage to homes and businesses
  • Evacuation of residents and businesses
  • Disruption to transport infrastructure and services
  • Disruption to electricity, water or gas supplies
  • Disruption to telecommunications.

A community emergency plan can help to:

  • Provide a co-ordinated response from the community
  • Identify local hazards
  • Identify important contacts and resources
  • Identify suitable places of safety for residents should an evacuation be necessary
  • Assist vulnerable people or groups that may require additional help
  • Keep residents within the community informed of the situation.

A template community emergency plan and accompanying guidance is available on Nottinghamshire County Council’s website. This can be used to address specific risks within a community (e.g. flooding) or a variety of incidents that could occur (e.g. heavy snow, disruption to utility supplies).

For more information on joining the scheme, please contact Nottinghamshire County Council’s emergency planning team via 0115 977 3471 or email: emergency.planning@nottscc.gov.uk

Flood resilience stores

‌Local authorities are not able to respond to all sandbag requests if flooding is widespread. In such instances, priority will be given to residents that are most vulnerable and unable to help themselves.

Resilience stores contain flood protection products and equipment that can be used by the community during times of flooding. They are designed to complement the response of other organisations and encourage residents to prepare themselves prior to a flood.

Guidance has been developed to assist communities in maintaining a resilience store:

For advice on establishing a resilience store, please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre and ask to speak with Rushcliffe Borough Council’s emergency planning officer.

Flood signage schemes

Driving through flooded roads can cause floodwater to surge across pavements and into properties. These are often known as ‘bow waves’.

Areas with flood warden schemes can also volunteer for Nottinghamshire County Council’s flood signage scheme.  This enables trained volunteers to erect flood warning road signs and close roads during a flood. The aim of the scheme is to help prevent vehicles from driving through and creating bow waves which can cause property flooding.

The road signage scheme enables authorised volunteers to erect signage on roads at pre-agreed locations when properties are at risk of flooding.

Volunteers must inform Nottinghamshire County Council before erecting the signage. Once the floodwater has subsided and there is no longer a threat to property, the signage must be taken down immediately and placed back into storage.

Communities will need somewhere to store the equipment and volunteers must attend the following training courses:

  • Floodwater safety training
  • Manual handling training
  • On-site road signage training.

Further information on the flood signage scheme is available on Nottinghamshire County Council’s website.

For more information on joining the scheme, please contact Nottinghamshire County Council’s emergency planning team via 0115 977 3471 or email: emergency.planning@nottscc.gov.uk

Grant Scheme: Flood resilience stores

A new grant scheme has been set up by Rushcliffe Borough Council to provide funding towards community flood resilience stores. This is a one off pot of money Rushcliffe has received for flooding expenditure 2013 -2014, and has chosen to reinvest into flood risk communities to increase flood resilience.

The scheme is open to all Parish /Town Councils and West Bridgford Local Area Forum interested in setting up a flood resilience store within their community and is not for flood alleviation work. Priority will be given to those communities that have previously experienced river or surface water flooding. The total funding will be allocated based on risk and grants are available up to a maximum of £1050. (subject to available funds)   

You must demonstrate that the grant will assist the community be more flood resilient and assist vulnerable members of the community in times of flood and that the stores will be sustainable.

The grant could be used for purchasing or part payment of for example

•           A resilience store

•           Supply of sandbags or sandbag alternatives

•           Hi vis jackets / torches

•           Other community flood resilient equipment

Guidance on setting up a flood resilience store can be found at: www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/communityresilience

Submitting an application

If you would like to apply for the scheme. Please complete the application form.

Completed forms can be emailed to: Kemery@rushcliffe.gov.uk

Alternatively, they can be posted to:

Emergency Planning (Flood resilience store )

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Central Works Depot

Abbey Road

West Bridgford

Nottingham

NG2 5NE

Further information

If you have any queries about the application process or would like the form in a different format (e.g. a paper-copy), please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre.