Last week saw most of the UK hit by this winter’s coldest and most hazardous weather, and many areas of the country are still suffering from heavy snowfalls and strong winds. Emergency response teams, emergency services and the military throughout Britain have been working hard to ensure the safety of the public, but more awareness of contingency plans in snowy weather is needed.
This is according to Lincolnshire’s emergency planning and business continuity manager Ian Reed, who told Lincolnshire Live that emergencies are much harder to predict in extreme weather conditions, making it difficult to know what to prepare for.
“Snow is one of those emergencies, unlike flooding or heavy rain, where it affects the response as well,” he stated, adding that the bad conditions caused many motorists to be stuck on the A46 for a long time with two lorries there as well.
“We had to get through the traffic to clear the snow – it was something we just had to react to,” Mr Reed told the news provider.
When extreme weather hits, councils, emergency services and health organisations set up plans on how to deal with the repercussions. However, with snow, officials cannot determine what exactly the emergencies will be, so they can only react to the situation at the time.
In order to keep drivers moving on the roads, Lincolnshire County Council gritted 1,860 miles of roads, using 1,000 tonnes of salt in the process.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Community Resilience Group (CRG) – set up to deal with local emergencies – helped the public throughout the week by answering urgent calls for assistance, particularly in impassable rural areas.
The helpline was open from between 09:00 and 18:00 for vulnerable people who experienced difficulty in the heavy snowfall, especially those who couldn’t get essential medication or needed emergency assistance.
Mr Reed also encouraged communities to help each other, adding that the CRG has been “assisted enormously” by the farming community who used their tractors to aid several people who were stuck.