In the wake of Storm Arwen in November 2021, Birse & Ballogie Community Council initiated the formation of a resilience sub-group. 

This group of community volunteers manage the B2C2 Community Resilience Plan and will support the community within the B2C2 Area in times of emergency.

There are two parts to the Resilience Plan. The first part is your guide on how to prepare in advance for an emergency and what to do if such an emergency materialises. At present we have chosen not to produce our own guide but to provide a link to the guide produced by Mid Deeside Community Council. Whilst not specific to B2C2 it provides generic information on individual emergency preparation "Mid Deeside Community Council Resilience - Preparing for Emergencies, A Guide for Residents" .

The second part is the B2C2 Emergency Response Plan which is now available and provides the details of the community response process specific to this community. The document will be a live document.

Following Storm Arwen an exercise was undertaken to record the lessons learnt.

Lessons learnt from Storm Arwen

1.   Be prepared if a storm is forecast :  

Have torches in a few locations around the house and ensure everyone in the household knows exactly where they are or carry one in your pocket just in case.  Head torches are particularly useful.
Purchase items like batteries, gas canisters for camping stoves,  matches, hot water bottles etc.  in advance.  
Have a few tins of easy-to-heat food in the house (eg soup, beans, etc).  
Ensure all mobile appliances and rechargeable items such as torches, toothbrushes etc, are fully charged.  Small inexpensive solar chargers can be purchased for charging phones etc. 
Make sure your car has half a tank of petrol, in case garages cannot pump fuel.  If you have an electric car make sure it is fully charged.  

2.  Have an emergency box

Consider having the following useful items together in a box that you can easily access during a power cut: 
Additional torches, small “push” lights (much safer than candles, particularly if there are children or elderly persons in the house), camping stove with gas canisters and matches,  and a radio (battery-operated or wind-up). 

3.  Cash

Don’t assume that you will be able to use debit/credit cards in the aftermath of a storm.  Even if power has been restored to shops, cafes, petrol stations, etc, their internet (and hence card payment machines) may not be working.  You may find it is “cash only” for a period of time.

4.  Receipts : 

Keep receipts for any meals/essential purchases made during a prolonged power outage.  There may be an opportunity to claim some costs back from your service provider (as there was during Storm Arwen).

5.  Water

Power outages can result in subsequent water outages if power supplies are disrupted to pumping stations.  Consider filling some containers with water at the start of any power outages.
For an extended power outage in winter consider vulnerable water pipes (heating pipes in attic spaces).

6.  Report all outages: 

Report all power/water outages as soon as possible to ensure your suppliers are aware of any problems and to get service updates.  Don’t assume neighbours will report outages.  
Telephone 105 SSEN Emergency 

7.  Generator : 

Consider investing in a generator.  Although this is a considered purchase, it may enable you to keep your fridge/freezer operating and avoid the loss of any food among other things.  A portable generator incorporates sockets to power individual appliances (using an extension lead if necessary).  A “hard-wired” generator to provide a more significant back-up power supply for a property requires mains power to be disconnected before use.  If you are not familiar with how this may work you should seek advice from an electrician before use.  Any generator will need regular maintenance to ensure it will work when it is needed.

8.  Electrical Equipment:

Unplug sensitive electrical equipment such as computers, television, modems, etc.  There can be a power surge when power is restored which might damage your equipment.

9.   Communications : 

Be aware that you will not have a functioning telephone line if you have switched to BT’s digital voice service.  Similarly, you may not have a functioning mobile phone if your calls/texts are reliant on broadband.

10.  Entertainment

Download some movies and TV programmes onto mobile devices in advance so you have something to watch in a power cut.

11:  Neighbours and the Community:

Be aware of your neighbours’ needs.  The elderly or vulnerable may require extra help

(Compiled December 2021)