In March 2011, government departments, agencies,emergency responders and communities were involved in one of the biggest emergency exercises to take place in England and Wales. Thousands of emergency responders (almost half of the UK's response agencies) took part in Exercise Watermark, aiming to strengthen and improve the way we deal with flooding emergencies in the future. It tested the country’s response to groundwater, surface water,reservoir, river and coastal flooding.
The likelihood of flooding is very real, especially for people and families who live in areas of high risk.
Following the floods in 2007, Sir Michael Pitt was asked by the
government to conduct an independent review into the emergency. His
report made 92 recommendations. One of which was to hold a national
exercise to test the arrangements put in place by emergency
responders to respond to severe flooding. This is Exercise
Led by Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government and delivered by the Environment Agency, the exercise took place from 4 -11 March 2011.
Exercise Watermark looked to make sure everyone is able to work together quickly and effectively in case of a real flooding emergency. The exercise put all our existing emergency plans to the test.
What we did in Cheshire:
On the 8th March the Cheshire Local Resilience Forum held table
top exercises at the Local Authority Emergency Centres that tested
arrangements across Cheshire to respond to wide area tidal and
The exercise also looked at the recovery element of flooding that occurred.
The exercise successfully tested our response plans and has highlighted areas which need work doing. The plans are being updated as a result of the exercise to ensure we are prepared and can respond effectively in a wide area flood.
For more information on Exercise Watermark you can visit the website www.exercisewatermark.co.uk