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Flood plans deficient warns Environment Agency

Flood emergency plans are deficient in key areas and only one-third of emergency service flood plans have been shown to the local people they are designed to protect, according to research from the Environment Agency (EA).
The Civil Contingencies Act came into force in November 2005, requiring frontline emergency services and authorities to have comprehensive emergency plans. To test the preparedness of emergency services the Cabinet Office commissioned the National Capabilities Survey in January 2006.Although the results are not widely circulated - emergency plans are used to respond to terrorism as well as flooding - NCE has seen some of the key points of the report.Only 20% of emergency plans included evacuation routes during a major flood, provision for transport depots, or impacts on utility installations and telecoms. Forty per cent of emergency services said that less than a quarter of the personnel listed in emergency plans had been fully trained in their role. Only one-third of all plans have been communicated to local people.Flood evacuation planning is hampered by the lack of shared information on where vulnerable - elderly or less-abled - people are.

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