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Military Aid: Floods

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to ensure that relevant advisory expertise from (a) his Department and (b) the armed forces is available in the event of an emergency occasioned by floods. (277448)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is fully involved in preparing for a national, regional and local flood. It maintains a network of military joint regional liaison officers who advise on Defence assistance through the Government offices for the regions and contribute to local and regional resilience forums and crisis management groups. The MOD's head office provides advice to the Civil Contingencies Secretariat and other Government Departments on what can be provided in the event of a national flood to aid emergency planning.

The Met Office also keep in direct contact through their National Severe Weather Warning Service and as a partner in the Flood Forecasting Centre, providing weather services to emergency responders, Government, business and the public ahead of, during and after periods of severe weather and flooding.

Following the publication of Sir Michael Pitt's review of the 2007 floods, the MOD and Cabinet Office have recently improved existing central response mechanisms to ensure Defence expertise is available, in an advisory capacity, where existing local or regional arrangements are severely stretched. These changes are now in place but will be formally published in the revised Central Government Concept of Operations which is expected this summer. Further information is available at the following link:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ukresilience.aspx