Farmers asked to step in when disaster strikes

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Farmers are being called on to step in when disaster strikes.

Emergency responders are often represented by local authorities, the Army or a charity such as the Red Cross.

Central Bedfordshire Council is appealing for farmers to come forward who may be able to help out in the event of an emergency.

Mark Conway, who heads up the council’s emergency planning team, said: “If an emergency happens then it is important to get people on the ground who can assist. But if they are unable to get there in the first place then that can cause real problems.

“That’s why we are appealing for farmers to volunteer their services in the event of an emergency. They have access to vehicles which could help to transport people, as well as heavy-duty equipment which could help to clear drainage ditches, for example.

“As the recent flooding in the north of England and Scotland has shown, disaster can strike very quickly and then communities rely on the kindness of strangers and volunteers to help them recover and get back on their feet.

“With Central Bedfordshire being a relatively rural area and plenty of farmers here, that is why we are appealing for volunteers among the farming community.”

Any farmers wishing to form part of the Bedfordshire Community Emergency Response team or looking for more information, should call Mark on 0300 300 4439 or email mark.conway@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

To find out more about planning for emergencies, visit the Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum’s website at www.bllrf.org.uk

The Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum (BLRF) responds to emergencies using the generic principles of emergency response and recovery. These generic principles are set out in the HM Emergency Response and Recovery Document found on their website.

Although each of the organisations involved in the response and recovery have their own emergency plans they have also adopted plan and mutual support arrangements to co-ordinate their efforts. By acting together, the overall response of the responding organisations will be greater than the sum of their individual efforts, to the benefit of the public.