New radios to boost flood warden communications
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Calderdale’s flood wardens, who volunteer to be the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground during flooding incidents, now have a new piece of equipment to help them with their role.
Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency have funded some new radios, which flood wardens will use to give and receive messages quickly and easily in the event of a flood.
This will enable key people to gain an accurate picture of what is happening in local areas, so that decisions and actions can be taken effectively and resources can be targeted where they are needed most.
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said, “We are pleased to be funding the new radios from our £3 million flood fund. They will ensure that vital information is passed to the right people at the right time if Calderdale floods. Flood wardens do a fantastic job of helping to keep our communities as safe and informed as possible, and the radios will support them to do this even better.”
Graham Lindsey, flood resilience advisor at the Environment Agency said, “Our flood wardens have played an invaluable role in the Calder Valley for many years and it has been great to see the warden network growing and developing this last year. We already have well established communications with the warden groups during floods, but these new radios will now allow them to relay information quickly to each other, so that they can do as much as possible to ensure people stay safe and where possible protect their property from flooding.”
Together Housing has supported the project by enabling a number of masts to be installed on its properties to allow for the radio network to function.
Since the Boxing Day 2015 floods, the Calderdale flood warden network has grown from 10 volunteers to over 50. The Environment Agency now has established groups in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, and new groups in Copley, Sowerby Bridge, Luddendenfoot, Elland and Brighouse.
The wardens are vital for helping to ensure that flood warning messages reach the local community and are acted upon correctly. They play a major role in being the Environment Agency’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground in the first stage of a flood. They report back to the Environment Agency incident room via a direct line and tell them exactly what is going on and where. They can also help and prepare local people at risk of flooding.
For more information about the flood warden network, please contact Jo Arnold.