Archive for the ‘Flood/ Flooding’ Category

National Flood Framework: Government decides to throw money at flooding….assesments

Friday, July 30th, 2010

On the same day that the National Flood Emergency Framework for England is published, the government has announced that it will be funding local authorities to carry out flooding risk assesments. A pot of £2m has been allocated for helping with the risk assesments along with a £1m draft strategy for improving skills in flood risk management.

However what appears to be lacking is any hint of money for flood defences, flood avoidance technology or business continuity and disaster recovery measures. But hey at least when a flood occurs we can see on a piece of paper that the town was at risk! (more…)

Podcast To Prevent Flood damage? Council Passing The Buck?

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Flood risk management is being passed to the residents of villages in Gloucestershire via a podcast. What will be next? Residents becoming members of the Emergency Planning Society?

Gloucestershire County Council has produced a 7 minute audio podcast which gives a step-by-step guide to villagers living in isolated areas which are at a high risk of experiencing flooding. The podcast offers advice as to how to form an action committee, complete an emergency management plan and organise real-life exercises.

Now I am all for not relying on the council and emergency planners completely, and for communities to take responsibility for managing an immediate response to any kind of local disaster, but really, shouldn’t the council planners be also explaining/ improving/ expanding their role in these situations? It does feel like the responsibility is being placed on residents rather than authorities.

One particular resident, aged 77, pointed out that in the 1950s the rivers were dredged all the time to prevent flooding. I’d be interested to know why this is not happening now if it worked then? Surely flood prevention should take the bulk of the council’s investment rather than producing multimedia soundbytes which more elderly residents may not know how, or be able to access anyway?

Councillor Will Windsor-Clive is quoted as saying, “The idea behind these community resilience plans is not for communities to carry out the role of any of the emergency services.” That may be true but what of the responsibilities of the council’s numerous emergency planners? Surely this following list should be completed by them rather than the residents, so that they can understand the issues within these communities firsthand?

 Identify the risks to the community and relevant response actions

 Identify vulnerable people / groups in the community

 Identify resources in the community available to assist during an emergency

 Provide key contact details for the Community Response Team, Key Community Resources, the Emergency Services and Local Authorities

It seems to me that the council are passing the buck to the residents rather than the people we pay our taxes to do this for us! I’d love to hear your views…

If you are an emergency planner in Gloucestershire perhaps you’d like to argue your case? Let’s get a Friday debate going…

Business Continuity Manager Is On Holiday. What’s Your Back Up Plan?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The holiday season is here and between now and September many of your staff will be off for one or two weeks at a time, including your business continuity manager, IT and Telecoms managers and key senior staff.

If all were to be off at the same time and a major disruption happened to your organisation’s building, who would be in charge of the business continuity plans and would they know how to keep the business operational? (more…)

BT Paddington Exchange Flood and Fire: Cause Update

Monday, April 12th, 2010

My last blog outlined the probable cause of the flooding that the BT Paddington exchange faced when water pumps in the basement were unable to cope with a large influx of water.

It now appears that the flood is likely to have been caused by some faulty works undertaken by a water company on the water main which runs underneath the exchange. (more…)

Paddington Exchange: Why It Flooded

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

If you want to know why Paddington Exchange fllooded here is the explanation:

A lot of the switching equipment is stored in the basement of the exchange. The building, like many others in London, has lower floors which sit below the water line. Pumps are installed so that should any of the water leak into the base of the building, the pump automatically kicks in to get the water out. This obviously didn’t happen in the case of Paddington North yesterday, either because the pump was faulty or there was a more major kind of water leak. (more…)

Paddington BT Exchange Fire and Flood: Kings College Hospital Uses GemaTech To Re-route Calls

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Kings College Hospital, a GemaTech customer, is using a telecoms continuity plan because of major problems caused by the fire at a BT exchange in Paddington. (more…)

Flood Warnings For parts of the UK – Know your Codes!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Parts of the UK are being warned of imminent flooding as the BBC reports.

The Environment Agency issues the severity of flood warnings and has a very good website for monitoring areas within in flood risk zones. It is well worth taking a look and also knowing what each flood warning means: (more…)