A few years back, parts of Southern Derbyshire were badly hit by freak weather and flooding. It was during this time that it was particularly noticed that there was much that a village could do in an emergency to help itself. Villagers had many useful skills and life saving equipment that could have been utilised if only they knew where to contact people.
So in 2005, a small group of residents representing Winster helped to draw up our emergency plan. The format of the plan itself is devised by the Local Council, County Council, Derbyshire Constabularly, Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance Service and is the same for every village.
The first port of call is always with the statutory emergency services. The Parish Clerk keeps the main copy of the plan. Mr Brian Long Chairman of the Parish Council and myself Judy Williams also hold hard copies as back up in case one or the other of us is not available. The Emergency Planning Office at Matlock also holds it.
(We cannot publish the plan itself on the internet, because we have promised those volunteering their help in an emergency that their contact details are confidential except for use in an actual emergency).
So just what does this plan do? Well, emergencies can be wide and varied. The plan aims to cover general needs. It looks at assembly points, places of safety, communications, threats and hazards in the community i.e. mine shafts, blasting from mining, hazardous material from road traffic accidents. It looks at scenarios such as continued loss of power or gas leaks, were residents may be asked to leave their home or street. People who are evacuated often come with luggage, dog's cats and the budgie and all must be accommodated.
The plan is really a paper exercise which lists coordinators for people as risk such as the elderly, takes note of those living here with specials skills i.e. doctors practising or retired: nursing; trained first aiders: chemists; policemen, firemen, forces and any villagers who belong to voluntary organisations such as Red Cross or WRVS. The clergy of course. Then it looks at other members of the community such as farmers. Vetinary and other businesses who may operate equipment such as heavy lifting, generators, chainsaws, winches, ropes ladders etc.
I hope that explains a little of what this plan aims to achieve. It's entirely voluntary and if you think you would like to put your name forward to fill a role in the event of an emergency - even if its making the tea or generally helping, it would be greatly appreciated.
I can be contacted on 01629 650580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.