Volunteer appeal as Bute emergency plan is published

Bute's community emergency plan has been published.
Bute's community emergency plan has been published.

Bute’s new community emergency plan has been published - and an appeal launched for people willing to help in the event of it ever having to be put into action.

The Bute Emergency Plan is the result of many months of work put in after the island’s power supplies and phone lines were cut off for several days as a result of a severe storm in January 2012.

The appeal for volunteers is being co-ordinated by Bute Advice Centre, where a community emergency manager will take the lead if local police ever decide the plan needs to be activated.

The centre is also compiling a list of the island’s vulnerable residents who might benefit from a visit from a volunteer during an emergency situation.

If you would like to be a volunteer helper during an emergency, or would like your name added to that list of vulnerable residents, contact Bute Advice Centre on (01700) 502874 or call into their office in Rothesay’s Bishop Street during business hours.

Bute Advice Centre manager Julie Semple said: “The plan has been designed as a community response to a major event that disrupts and has serious consequences for the everyday life of the community.

“No attempt is made to define what might cause such disruption, and could be anything from severe weather, flooding or fire to a major incident involving transport.

“Being aware of the risks that we as a community may encounter and who within the community might be able to assist will make our community better prepared to cope with an emergency.

“In a severe emergency situation, the emergency responders cannot be everywhere at once. They will always have to prioritise people in greatest need, especially where lives are at risk.

“The good news is that how communities organise themselves to prepare for emergencies can make a big difference. The Community Emergency Plan is about how communities can make that difference by coming together to support each other.

“If you would like to volunteer, we are particularly keen to engage people who live in the Bush area, Craigmore, central Rothesay, Mount Stuart area, Ballochgoy, Barone area, Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne.

“The police will determine when the Bute Emergency Plan needs to be put into operation. They will contact the Community Emergency Manager at Bute Advice Centre, who will in turn contact team leaders, who then contact their list of volunteers with instructions of what support is needed.

“The Emergency Manager and team leaders all have volunteers who are able to stand in should they be needed to keep the plan operating smoothly.”