Flood survey on evacuation

FLOOD victims in Morpeth are urged to take part in a survey to help inform evacuation plans.

Northumberland County Council is carrying out the work to improve support for vulnerable residents when they are at risk of flooding.

The study will ask people to consider what specific arrangements may be helpful to them, particularly if they are elderly, ill or disabled.

The initiative has been designed in partnership with the Morpeth Flood Action Group and surveys have been sent to properties within the town’s flood risk area, as defined by the Environment Agency.

However, anyone who knows a vulnerable person living in an at-risk area is also invited to fill it in online.

Council Portfolio Lead for Adult Care and Health, Susan Dungworth, said: “We are aware that there are members of our community who are more vulnerable than others, who may need extra help and support if a flood occurred.

“In particular, the survey gives residents who don’t receive services from us and don’t have people living nearby to help them, the opportunity to let us know if they will need assistance.

“We would encourage anyone who receives the survey, or knows someone living in areas prone to flooding in Morpeth, to fill it in.”

The British Red Cross, which has previously supported the town in the aftermath of flooding, is assisting in collecting the information and representatives will be visiting residents to raise awareness of the survey and help them to complete it.

Operations Director for the North East and Cumbria, Judi Evans, said: “We are delighted to be helping Northumberland County Council with this new approach to ensuring that vulnerable people are identified prior to any flooding so that they can be given the extra care and support they need.

“Our volunteers are experienced in supporting individuals and communities who have been flooded so they will be able to help people to complete this survey.”

The work follows a multi-agency exercise in the town last month to test out the council’s flood action plan.

Morpeth has been chosen for the survey due to its recent history of flooding, but the findings will be considered in relation to the Northumberland Flood Action Plan to inform the countywide disaster response. The survey, which can be found online at www.northumberland.gov.uk/floodsurvey, is open until Friday, July 19.

Construction of a £21million flood alleviation scheme for Morpeth is due for completion in autumn 2014.