What is it?
On 4th October Wiltshire and Swindon LRF participated in a regional multi LRF exercise called exercise inundation. This was to test our response to a widespread flooding event and to test our evacuation and shelter response. Over 50 people from a variety of agencies including health partners, blue lights, the voluntary sector and local authorities all came together for a day full of testing and exercising our response.
The scene was set with a weather update from the Met Office, followed by a scenario involving multiple issues that we would expect in this kind of weather. These included road closures, evacuated homes, flooded properties and the inability of residents and staff to travel.
We then broke off into cells to look at the distinct issues at hand, including logistics for evacuations and shelter, health and wellbeing and vulnerable people. The scenario developed as the day went on with extra injects thrown in just as the cell would think they had resolved an issue! Much like a real event there will be numerous issues to deal with at once and its down to the multi-agency group to work together and prioritise these.
As this was a multi-LRF exercise, we tested our cross boarder communications through a series of calls. This helped us understand the wider issues and where each LRF could help one another. From this call we then had a task to evacuate and shelter approximately 1000 people from another LRF area. This then took up the next part of the exercise working out how we could transport people where they would be comfortable to stay until the storm reduced. This is where our voluntary agencies really come in to support the LRF in transport, food, supplies and staffing support. It was a really useful day to learn what each agency can bring to the table in response and how we can work as one together to respond to incidents.
Sandbags have been delivered to households at risk of flooding as Swindon prepares for the latest storm to hit the UK.
Storm advice and information as Storm Ciarán expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain this week (1st November 2023)
We are advising you to be prepared for high winds, heavy rain and potential flooding as Storm Ciarán approaches the county this week.
As an LRF we learnt that all our agencies work well together and that communication is key during any response. We learnt the different tools other agencies can bring to the table and how its best to pull our resources and work together. We practiced the importance of identifying and supporting the most vulnerable in society during events and how best to communicate out to the public for a severe weather event.