FOLLOWING the awful weather which brought the region to a virtual standstill last winter, Dumfries and Galloway Council held a meeting with all involved organisations to ensure full preparation for a repeat this year.
Participants included representatives from the police, fire and rescue, council, DGHP, NHS, AMEY, Met Office, Military, Scottish Ambulance Service, SEPA, Scotia Gas Networks, Scottish Water, Scottish Water, and Transport Scotland.
Roger Grant, chairman of the Council’s Planning, Housing and Environment Services committee, said: “Our Council is working along with other organisations to ensure we are able to respond effectively and efficiently during any instances of severe weather. Sessions like this one are essential to making sure any response is coordinated, effective and swift between all the agencies, enabling us to deal with any consequences of extreme weather. However, it is not just organisations who have a part to play – personal and community resilience is also vital. All of us across our region should prepare for this extreme weather so that we can react positively, should we need to. As such, the Council and its partners are developing and supporting a resilience programme with communities across our region so that everyone is better prepared.”
Last year Dumfries and Galloway was struck with some of the heaviest rain and coldest temperatures for almost a hundred years. This year, the region must be better prepared for conditions possibly matching last year’s.
A key principle for the Council and partner organisations is to support the idea of community resilience – communities working together to make their lives easier in the cold winter. Communities can, for example, liaise with the Council and apply for additional grit bins to be put in place to help them to de-ice roads and pavements; neighbours can make arrangements to help and support each other to ensure everyone feels more secure in the coming winter months, particularly those who are vulnerable in severe weather. For more information on community resilience Steven Wylie is the contact point for Dumfries and Galloway Council, t: 030 33 33 3000.
There is also a plan in place to assist flood-prone communities in Dumfries and Galloway to protect themselves and their properties in case of a recurrence of flooding experienced previously.
For more info on flood protection products and the Council’s subsidy scheme, see: http://www.dumgal.gov.uk or contact James Mcleod, Dumfries and Galloway Council, t: 030 33 33 3000, or Paul Hendy, Scottish Flood Forum, t: 07747 702 299.