REACT's swift and effective response to Storm Ciarán
Posted by Laura Butlin 06th November 2023 News
Estimated Reading Time: 1 min
As Storm Ciarán swept across the southern half of the UK early in November, it left in its wake a trail of strong winds and heavy rain. Emergency response teams were on high alert. The Met Office issued amber and yellow National Severe Weather Warnings, prompting organisations including REACT to mobilise in anticipation of the storm's impact.
Luke Cox, Interim Operations Director for REACT, highlighted the charity’s preparedness and rapid response to the storm.
‘REACT's assistance was requested on November 1st. We were tasked with conducting welfare checks on vulnerable individuals affected by power outages. Within a remarkably swift six hours, we had four teams on standby and ready to go.
Across the affected regions, including Solent, Melksham, Poole, and the New Forest, REACT Response Teams deployed to carry out essential welfare checks on residents. Our Solent team, led by volunteer Responder Charlie McLaughlan, completed at least 139 checks. Melksham, under the leadership of Bill Moore, identified no immediate needs and stood down. Poole, led by Sarah Prinsloo, completed 159 welfare checks before standing down, while the New Forest team, led by Caro O'Callaghan, conducted 42 checks before also standing down.’
In total, REACT volunteers completed an impressive 340 welfare checks, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those affected by Storm Ciarán. The organisation's efficiency is further underscored by the fact that within a day of the request, Responders were on the ground across multiple locations and able to contribute 135 hours to the task.
As the storm's impact unfolded, with wind gusts reaching up to 80mph in some exposed locations and heavy rain across various regions, the importance of volunteer-led teams like REACT, in providing timely assistance and support became evident. The dedication and quick response of these emergency teams play a crucial role in minimising the impact of severe weather events on vulnerable communities.
REACT is continuing to test and build its capabilities through a high-quality programme of specialist training and exercises in collaboration with other response organisations.