CRISIS Centre staff participate in Exercise Watermark

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Aston CRISIS Centre researcher, Susan Anson, participated as a volunteer evacuee during a mock evacuation from Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire as part of the national Exercise Watermark. The exercise was held in response to Sir Michael Pitt’s recommendations from the 2007 UK floods that there should be a national flooding exercise involving public participation.

Ms. Anson followed the second phase of evacuation. Volunteers were stationed in different locations across Sutton-on-Sea including their homes, a pub and a café. Flood Wardens and the police then approached the volunteers informing them of the need to evacuate and providing information of the transport arrangements to be taken to a rest centre. Volunteers were then evacuated by coach to the rest centre where they were met by the British Red Cross personnel to be registered, seen by medical staff if necessary and provided with refreshments. Emergency transport then moved volunteers to an alternative rest centre where volunteers were registered again, provided with medical support and a hot meal. A wide range of organisations participated in the exercise including the British Red Cross, Lincolnshire’s Emergency Planning Unit, Environment Agency, Social Workers, Inter-Faith Group, Rotary Club and the Woman’s Royal Voluntary Service.

Professor Duncan Shaw, Director of the Crisis Centre, participated in the exercise at the national level as part of an EU-funded Exchange of Experts in Civil Protection. He observed the exercise being run from national control centres (backup COBR and National Operations Centre) as well as a regional gold command centre (in Lincoln). He also attended live demonstrations of search and rescue techniques at Tattershall Lakes (Lincolnshire) and met HRH The Duke of Gloucester at this event.