The community around Eassie is in a state of readiness for incident or accident after the official unveiling of the local hall as Angus’ first resilience centre.
Volunteers have put in place the physical measures and emergency plans which could play a crucial role in helping locals and supporting the blue light services, council and utility providers in the event of a major incident.
Although proposals were already being developed when Storm Frank hit Angus at the end of 2015, the impact of the deluge on homes was an illustration of the valuable role a resilience centre could play.
Former police officer Neil McLeod led the effort and said it will be capable of helping hundreds of residents within a five kilometre radius of the Eassie and Nevay community hall.
Personal and business plans have also been put together for around 200 homes within the 5km zone.
“The personal plans will help people get through the first 72 hours of any emergency situation – the crucial time in such incidents,” said Mr McLeod.
“We are also formulating a register of vulnerable people, which will be an ongoing thing, and would like people to make contact with us to identify vulnerabilities they may have that will allow us to help them as soon as possible.
“After any event the recovery will also be quicker because things such as vital contacts should be in place and backed up to allow them to sort out what they need.”
At the hall, work has included a hardening of the facility’s flood defences and replacement of electrical sockets with new ones containing USB charging points.
Emergency equipment, portable water pumps, back to back radios, comprehensive first aid kits and foil blankets have been purchased, and a defibrillator fitted outside the hall, with many locals trained in its use.
Mr McLeod said: “The hall will be a base for emergency services, other agencies and utility companies if they need it, and it is also a distribution centre so that there is one point of contact.
“For example, in a flooding event, Angus Council would bring sandbags to the hall and they would be dispersed from the centre.”
“We hope the centre never has to be used, but if it is we are in a much stronger position now and the community can be confident that it will be much more resilient.”