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East Peckham, Tonbridge and Edenbridge receive boost with new volunteer flood wardens

Flood defence across the county has received a boost with the introduction of 160 volunteer wardens.

Following the floods of 2013-14, these community spirited residents now form an important link between local authority organisations and the emergency services like Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) and communities at risk of flooding.

Having received full training, they will pass warnings and information to residents and help identify people in the community who may need a little extra help due to age, disability or other impairment.

Over 100 extra flood wardens have been appointed. Stock picture
Over 100 extra flood wardens have been appointed. Stock picture

KFRS station manager Chris Else, who also heads up the Kent Resilience Team said: "Preparing for emergencies is at the very heart of our business and something we are well rehearsed in and we have been sharing our expertise with parish council’s to help communities be prepared."

One of the villages badly affected by the floods of 2013-14, East Peckham near Tonbridge has taken advantage of the help on offer to develop plans and provide training for wardens.

Chairman of East Peckham Parish Council, Stephanie Watson said: "What we learned from the 2013 floods was that no one person or agency can protect the whole community and we can all do a lot more to help ourselves.

"We’ve worked with KRT to develop a community action plan, so if the worst happens again, we will all be better prepared."

Video: Kent Fire and Rescue train flood wardens across Kent (video courtesy of KFRS)

She added: "part of our flood warden’s role has been to go out and collect information to identify those residents who might need extra help, such as those who are bed-bound downstairs or if they have a carer or meals on wheels.

"That way we can make sure they still get help and services they need. As a result, we now have a much clearer idea of the people in our community and whether they want to be evacuated in an emergency situation, which we didn’t have before."

Kent’s firefighters will be out around the county during the coming weeks providing information on flood awareness, the EA flood warning text scheme and talking to people about keeping safe in and around water including:

  • Fire crews will be carrying out water rescue training at Eynsford FordonThursday from 7pm

  • Flood awareness event - Saturday 10am until 12pm at Edenbridge Fire Station, High Street

For more information visit: www.kentprepared.org.uk

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