Our preparations and response: adverse weather and evacuations

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Our emergency planning resilience and response (EPRR) teams have been in full swing since we received various adverse weather warnings about snow, high winds and flooding earlier in the week - and these are now in full operation.

Yesterday across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coastal areas, Strategic Command Groups were set up in each county by the police, with multi-agency partners also involved in managing the substantial number of ‘severe’ flood warnings in our region.

These involve the evacuation of property, and for us, this means medical patients, care homes and other vulnerable medical patients. Responders from all agencies are working together to keep people safe, but the risk of tidal flooding remains and we will continue to keep our operation in place until that risk has been reduced. As part of that, we’ve deployed specialist assets to various locations as part of our preparations and response.

Our colleagues in patient transport services (PTS) are actively involved in the evacuations at this time, and have already moved a number of patients across the region. 

Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery, said: “I have been really impressed with the response of our people in all areas of our operation. A number of our PTS and other staff have volunteered to come in to work and get fully involved and we are very grateful for this. Many of our people have made themselves willingly available to help as required to service the large number of strategic and tactical operations across the three counties involved. The operation is ongoing.”

Should flooding occur and areas become land locked, EOCs will keep our teams aware and provide support as required. To complicate matters, we expect high winds, ice and snow as well and ask everyone to exercise good care to keep each other safe. Any staff who are concerned or directly affected, please do not hesitate to contact your line manager for any support that you may need.

Robert Morton, Chief Executive Officer, added: “I would like to thank everybody involved in this current response for their efforts and commitment to patients and each other, and to our colleagues in support services across the service for their contributions at this time.”

Published 13th January, 2016

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