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Don't let your emergency become a disaster

Community groups are being urged to prepare themselves for emergencies. Hopefully the emergencies will never happen, but the importance of having a plan in place, just in case, is being stressed by experts.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, Lincolnshire Police, the Environment Agency and  county and district councils are behind the push to ensure every community has its own unique emergency plan.

They say that communities know their residents best and can help identify those who might need a little extra help as well as those who have useful skills - valuable information to include in a plan and of great help to the emergency services. 

Parish councils hold the key to community involvement. Some have already formed their own emergency planning groups and prepared their emergency plans.

Wyberton is one which is very advanced. It has a team of 15 volunteers, trained to spring into action. They have already been put to the test in exercises featuring flood and a winter weather white-out.

Councillor Richard Austin, a borough councillor and parish councillor for Wyberton and the new Mayor of Boston, said: "This will not only assist the emergency services if there is a major event but will ensure the safety of residents in the village."

Emergencies come in many shapes and guises, and hardly ever announce themselves - most happen suddenly, without warning and can often be dramatic, even traumatic. They might never happen to you or your community - but, equally, they might...

You can help your community plan ahead for how it will cope in the event of 999 emergencies such as flood, fire, accident, exceptional weather and even illness.

Your community may already be well equipped to play its full part in coping with an emergency situation, as Wyberton is, but making an emergency plan for your community is a two-way exercise - it completes a record of what you and your community already knows and informs the emergency services and others outside of your community who can help you when it's really needed.

Time is often the one commodity which is in short supply during an emergency - a community emergency plan can save time, and that could save lives. Those on the ground first, and that's the people who live and work in your community, will be the key to dealing with an emergency in those vital first minutes and hours.

An easy-to-use emergency plan template has been drawn up to help you to firm up and record how you will respond, who will do what, when and where and inform the emergency services about how best they can assist taking into account any individual and unique aspects of your community.

Please take action today. Plan for your emergency. Contact Lincolnshire County Council Emergency Planning Unit 01522 582220 and ask for your emergency plan template so you can take the first steps towards being prepared.

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