East Lothian Council

East Lothian’s resilient communities

Published Friday 2nd March 18

Car covered in snow

Provost praises local communities for their help during adverse weather

During the current spell of adverse weather local communities across East Lothian have been helping others to stay safe and warm.

Provost John McMillan, said:

“Back in 2014 the council’s Emergency Planning and Risk Manager met all of the county’s Community Councils and Tenants and Residents associations to advise how they could offer practical assistance during times of emergency or severe weather conditions. Many Community Councils drew up their own resilience plans and included ‘asset registers’ which provides a record of skills and equipment available from local residents.”

“The ‘Beast from the East’ storms have created some challenges and we know that the North Berwick Community Council has invoked its Emergency Response plan and through the use of social media and contacts they have been able to get owners of 4X4 vehicles to assist with delivering medicine to people at home and taking vulnerable people to the local health centre for appointments. Other Community Councils have been phoning local residents they know may be unable to get out and about and checking they are ok and have necessary food to tide them over.”

Some Community Councils have adopted the ‘Helping Hand’ scheme where vulnerable residents, particularly the elderly, can put a pre-printed A4 size coloured hand in their window to alert volunteers that they need some help. Following agreed security checks the residents can then get help with shopping that they are temporarily unable to do themselves.

The Emergency Planning and Risk Manager has visited seven Community Councils already this year to provide an update on resilient communities advice.

Provost McMillan added:

“Resilient Communities is a valuable initiative that is really proving its worth just now. The fact that Community Councils and Tenants and Residents Associations are prepared for the type of incident currently experienced really supports East Lothian Council. During severe weather the council services are adversely affected with many employees being unable to get to their usual places of work and delivering the full range of services. I would like to thank the groups for their support and assistance to their local communities.”

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