December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 23, 2013
Do your family know what to do if your house catches fire?
Where would you go if the power was cut to your village for a week?
Those were the questions being asked in Norwich on Saturday, as Norfolk Prepared Week was launched to showcase the emergency services and other bodies who would respond in a crisis.
Organised by Norfolk Resilience Forum, the campaign encourages people to think about the steps they can take now to make themselves safer in emergencies large or small, with a focus on community response.
Robert Flute, chairman of the Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: “Norfolk Prepared Week is to show what the statutory authorities can do for people, and what people can do for themselves.
“The key message is to get people thinking. For example, in Norfolk there are flooding risks – people need to think about what stuff they keep upstairs, whether they have a wind-up torch and radio, and how they will get updates from the emergency services.”
He added: “People also need to be reassured about what the emergency services can do for them.”
Norfolk Prepared Week is a series of events across the county, including coastal roadshows in Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Sheringham and a full-scale resilience exercise later this week. It kicked-off with events at the Forum, Millennium Library and Castle Mall in Norwich on Saturday.
Designed to deliver a serious message in an entertaining way, the event at the Forum included a performance from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s own rock band, The Backdrafts, and a special guest appearance from mascot Ready Eddy, the Emergency Teddy.
As well as the three emergency services, there were stands manned by the Environment Agency, Norwich City Council’s environmental health team, Healthwatch and Anglian Water, and voluntary and faith sector groups were on hand to explain how people can get themselves better prepared in case of emergency.
Simon Holmes, emergency planning manager for the British Red Cross, said that could range from learning basic first aid skills to thinking about the problems faced by others around them.
The charity will take part in Exercise Harmony later this week, a live operational test of voluntary and faith groups’ capabilities in an emergency.
Mr Holmes said: “It will be led by the voluntary and faith sector, to show the power that local people can bring to emergency services.”
The coastal roadshow will be in Great Yarmouth Market Place from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday; Oddfellows Hall, Lifeboat Plain, Sheringham between 10am and 2pm on Thursday; and King’s Staithe Square, King’s Lynn, between 9am and 1pm on Friday.