In early October, staff from Buckingham Town Council took part in a multi-agency flooding simulation organised by Buckinghamshire Council. Staff practised the procedures to be used during a flood and built crucial relationships with partner agencies.
During the exercise, officers dealt with a hypothetical flood hitting the River Great Ouse, Buckingham, and a number of other rivers and settlements in the area. For scale, those taking part were asked to imagine a flood similar to the severe flooding that hit Buckingham in December 2020 and flooded at least 72 properties. Alongside representatives from the Environment Agency; Emergency Services; Strategic Flood Management; Local Area Liaison; Environmental Health; Social Care; Communications and Transport; Buckingham Town Council officers practiced implementing the Buckingham Community Flood Plan. The flood plan involves using the Town Council’s local knowledge to coordinate volunteers to phone vulnerable people who may have flooded and check if they need help, with volunteers and staff deployed to support other services and those residents most in need.
Autumn has arrived, and the seasonal weather can increase the risk of flooding. Anyone living in the flood risk area along the River Great Ouse, or at risk of surface water/flash flooding (as occurred June 2023) is strongly recommended to check that they have personal flood provision in place and that it is in good working order. If you don’t have any personal flood defences and think you may need sandbags, these can be purchased now from building supply stores. Buying and preparing your flood defences in advance gives you the best chance of putting them in place in time to protect your property.
Town Clerk, Claire Molyneux said “Sadly our staff are getting quite experienced at dealing with flooding in our town. However, this exercise was a great opportunity to continue learning and improving our response.
I would strongly recommend that our at-risk residents, also think about how they would react to a flood warning and to have their own plan in place. Doing small things in advance, like moving your car to higher ground, packing an essentials bag, and keeping pets safe inside, can make a real difference to how well you can cope when flooding starts.”