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Emergency Services: Floods

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of emergency response facilities to floods; and what steps have been taken to improve such facilities since the floods of summer 2007. (277447)

This was the subject of recommendation 44 of Sir Michael Pitt’s review of the summer 2007 floods, which recommended that Category 1 and 2 responders should assess the effectiveness of their emergency response facilities and undertake any improvement works. In their response, the Government said that they would develop a check-list to help local responders to establish and assess the effectiveness of emergency facilities. This was done in December last year with publication of Parts One and Two of the “Expectation and Indicators of Good Practice Set for Category 1 and 2 Responders” which gives guidance on what is expected of responders in implementing the Civil Contingencies Act and wider capability building activity.

The particular improvement recommended by Sir Michael Pitt was the incorporation of IT to support flood visualisation tools in Gold and Silver Commands. This measure was the subject of Pitt Review recommendation 36, the Government’s response to which indicated that the necessary hardware and training will be in place during 2009 to make relevant flood visualisation data held in electronic map format available to Gold and Silver Commands. Progress in meeting this recommendation will be reported as part of the Government’s next six-monthly progress report in June.