ON THE DAY that East Riding Council has issued a press release urging communities to get involved in Emergency Planning, and in the days just prior to the re-publication of Saltend Chemicals Park Major Emergency Advice, we ask: Is Hedon prepared for extreme emergencies?
In the event of an extreme flooding event, on the scale or worse than 2007, then could Hedon cope and respond effectively to an emergency situation?
Imagine the scenario where the rest of Hull and Holderness has been affected by catastrophe too; police, fire, ambulance and council emergency services are stretched to breaking point! A call for help to 999, or 101 or 111 cannot guarantee an immediate response. We’re on our own in Hedon to cope the best we can…
It’s not just flooding, transpose any of a number of emergency situations; heat wave, big freeze, extreme winds, toxic or pollutant cloud, infectious disease outbreak, pandemic flu, etc, etc where the whole district might be affected, and it begs the question – Is the town and are its communities resilient enough to manage?
We have an active and thriving community infrastructure in Hedon i.e. groups with people that care and look out for others. We have trained first aiders based in many of the businesses and shops, we have community first responders that cover the local area. We have a Town Council that has already prepared its own emergency plan based on the actions it can take during an emergency. But have we really come together as a community to consider the emergencies that ‘possibly could happen’ and that ‘probably might happen’ – and prepared a plan of how, as a community, we could respond?
It seems that emergency planning involves lots of necessary pre-meetings, considering scenarios, forming communication networks, arranging coordination and co-ordinators, pre-planning of how the coordinated efforts of local service providers and volunteers might be mobilised during an emergency?
“The unthinkable happens! I’ve tried to help neighbours and those around me, but want to do more… who do I contact? Where do I go?”
Published as a contribution to a debate on Emergency Planning.