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Melksham

The website of Melksham Town Council and Assembly Hall

Plans are being written for dealing with emergencies in Melksham. An emergency could be anything from flooding or snow to a major incident, disease or loss of power that affects many people. Both Melksham Town Council and Melksham Without Parish Council are gathering information to feed into the plans so that all areas will be included in an Emergency. While the emergency services and Wiltshire Council have plans in place for any major incident, the purpose of these very specific plans is to provide detailed local knowledge about the risks and possible solutions in each area, which will assist emergency services in case of an incident.

Part of the planning process is creating a network of people who could help in an emergency, such as trained first aiders, people with medical or military background and volunteers who would like to help out in case of an emergency. Volunteers have already come forward to help as flood wardens and more people are invited to sign up as community volunteers so that all areas of Melksham are covered. There is already a team set up and working well in the Shaw & Whitley area.

As well as helpful volunteers, the plan is also collecting information on useful resources such as 4x4 vehicles, radios, generators or machinery that could be used in case of an emergency.

A further aspect of the plan is to compile lists of people who would be especially vulnerable in an incident, so that emergency services can be directed to people who would need the most support first. This could be people with mobility issues, those with a language barrier or those with other difficulties.

If you would like to help as a volunteer, or have information to share, or to register as a vulnerable person, you can get in touch with either of the two Councils depending on where you live. For Melksham Town residents contact clare.harris@melkshamtown.co.uk or 01225 704187 or for Melksham Without Parish residents, you can email clerk@melkshamwithout.co.uk or call 01225 705700.

Additionally, Scottish and Southern Electricity offer extra support during a power cut and there is a free Priority Registration Service for Vulnerable People in a Power Cut to help them support people who need it most. People who are eligible include those dependent on electricity for home medical care, for example a kidney dialysis machine or ventilator, people with disabilities and those with newborn babies. Registering for their Priority Services helps them to help you when you need it most. SSE supply all the electricity in the area, regardless of who you pay your energy bills to.

You can register for the SSE Priority service by calling 0800 294 3259 free from a landline or mobile. Call 0800 316 5457 for text phone or sign up online at www.ssepd.co.uk/PriorityServicesRegistrationForm.

In case of water disruption, Wessex Water will also help people who need it most. You can register with on 0345 600 3 600 or online at www.wessexwater.co.uk/customerplus or email your details to customer.plus@wessexwater.co.uk.

While the Councils have action plans for emergencies, there are things that residents can also do to keep safe, in preparation for and in the event of an emergency. Some advice is listed below. Thank you to Bradford on Avon Community Emergency Volunteers, Wiltshire Council and the Flood Forum for the information.

PERSONAL PLANNING FOR EMERGENCIES

For all eventualities, you could consider putting an emergency plan together for your family with an emergency grab bag ready to be used if necessary. The Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum has a detailed guide on planning for emergencies: http://wiltshireandswindonprepared.org.uk/media/files/Are_You_Ready_Brochure.pdf 

  1. FLOODING

Prepare for Flooding

- Contact Local Highways team if there is a drain/gulley which floods and makes it dangerous for drivers when it rains on 0300 456 0100

Check if your property is at risk of flooding  and Join the Environment Agency ‘Floodline Warnings Direct’ scheme. Sign up online or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 You can also complete a personal flood plan from the Environment Agency to ensure you have thought of everything https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-flood-plan

Further advice on: www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk  where there is a Ready-For-Flooding booklet with further details about what you can do before, during and after a flood. Remember you can call the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055 for advice at any time.

If your home is prone to flooding, buy flood protection equipment in advance. Please be aware that Local Authorities and Fire and Rescue Services DO NOT routinely provide sand bags.

Check your buildings and contents insurance policy to confirm you are covered for flooding and to check you have not underestimated the value of your home contents.

Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies. If you have any doubts you should ask your supplier for advice. Putting stickers on the taps and switches you need to turn off during a flood makes it easier to remember and quicker to do.

If you house is in danger of flooding, Plan to move upstairs in good time.

In the event of Flooding

- check for updates on Wiltshire Council’s website

- Notify Wiltshire Council of any of homes and businesses at risk, and those that have been flooded.

- Check on vulnerable neighbours and report to council if they need assistance.

Never drive through flood water

If your home is flooded:

The first priority is protecting life: yours and your family’s.

In most situations you will be evacuated to a temporary rest centre or you may choose to go to family or friends. Always follow guidance from Emergency Services on evacuation. If you stay in your home the following advice will prove helpful.

Keep Safe, Keep Warm.

Floodwater may be contaminated

  • Wear rubber boots and gloves in and around the affected property.
  • Wash all cuts and cover with waterproof plasters.

Floodwater can damage buildings severely, particularly if it has been flowing quickly, is over 1 m deep or has been in a property for a long time.

  • Before entering property that has been flooded, the building should be checked for signs of damage.
  • Be careful when moving any debris that may have been carried onto your property or the surrounding area. Avoid heavy objects (e.g. trees) that may be unstable and could suddenly move and trap or crush you.
  • Be careful when moving in and around property that has been flooded. Standing water and mud can hide holes, damage to structures and sharp objects.

Do not approach any structure that may be unsafe.

Do not approach any fast flowing water or deep standing water.

If you have to enter floodwater, in all cases move slowly and carefully, make sure you are wearing strong footwear and use a stick to check that you are not about to step into a hole or onto a sharp object.

If driving in floods is unavoidable, do so with extreme caution. 6 inches depth of fast flowing water can sweep a 4×4 vehicle off a road.

Turn off the electricity supply to the property until a qualified electrician or utility company has checked out the electrics.

Turn off the gas supply to appliances that have been flooded (or where their vents/flues may have been affected).

  1. SNOW/ ICE/ COLD WEATHER

Prepare for Cold Weather/ Snow

Check online for warnings and updates.

Follow the governments 'Snow code' https://www.gov.uk/clear-snow-road-path-cycleway -

Ensure you have enough insulation around your water tank(s), loft and external water pipes. Check you have de-icer, salt/grit and the necessary tools (shovels, brush etc) to keep your home safe and clear of snow. In particular, the elderly should ensure that they have at least one room kept warm and take regular hot drinks and meals

  • As a driver:
  • Consider joining a recognised breakdown/recovery service.
  • Consider gaining experience in adverse weather driving through a course in skid control.
  • Look at Wiltshire Council’s online salting map to see which roads near you will be salted in icy conditions

Check the NHS website for advice on keeping well when it’s cold: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth

In the event of Cold Weather/ Snow

check on vulnerable neighbours and report to council if they need assistance

Keep paths around your property clear of snow.

Knock down any icicles that form to prevent them falling on to someone.

Check to see if your gutters are being affected by the weight of snow.

Put salt or grit on paths and driveways.

Consider getting together with neighbours to clear footpaths and community areas.

Before travelling

  • Find out information about current road conditions
  • Consider whether your journey is necessary
  • Obtain the latest weather information
  • Plan your journey (route and timing), allowing yourself extra time.
  • Tell someone of your plans
  • Consider carrying winter tyres or snow chains in your car
  • Before starting a journey check
  • Your tyre pressures are at the recommended level and that the tread depth is correct. Don’t forget your spare!
  • Your vehicle’s lights are clean and in working order
  • Your wiper system is working effectively, your washer bottles are full and contain a suitable additive to prevent freezing.
  • Your battery is in good condition, topped up and fully charged.
  • Your antifreeze is at the correct strength (your garage can do this for you)
  • Make sure that all your windows and mirrors are completely clear of ice and condensation
  • Keep available a can of de-icer and a scraper and cover your car’s windscreen with a blanket overnight
  • For longer journeys, consider taking a flask of hot drink, a blanket and a shovel

  1. HIGH WINDS

Prepare for High Winds

Check weather forecasts

Secure or store loose objects outside that could blow into windows. Close and fasten doors and windows securely. Park vehicles in a garage or well away from trees, buildings, walls and fences.

In the event of high winds

Stay indoors as much as possible – do NOT go outside to repair damage whilst the storm is in progress. Find shelter in a substantial, permanent, enclosed building. Slow down if driving on exposed routes, such as over bridges, and find alternative routes if possible. Take particular care of side winds if driving a high-sided vehicle or if you are towing another vehicle or container. Do not touch electrical or phone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging.

  1. HOT WEATHER

During Hot Weather

People and animals are at risk from the effects of heat. To reduce the risks, the following should be considered:

Apply high-factor sun-screen regularly during the day.

Try to keep your house cool; closing blinds and curtains can help. At night, keep your sleeping area well ventilated.

Take cool (not cold) showers or baths or sprinkle yourself with water throughout the day.

Wear lightweight, loose, light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.

Drink plenty of cold fluids, but not alcohol or caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

If driving, keep your vehicle ventilated to avoid drowsiness. Take regular breaks and have plenty of water in the vehicle. Try to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day (11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.). Avoid being in the sun for long periods of time. The elderly, very young and disabled are most at risk. If you have elderly or disabled neighbours check on them daily. Ensure that any elderly or disabled members of your own household are checked regularly. Avoid excessive physical activity (it can cause heat stroke or heat exhaustion), or do it in the cooler ends of the day.

Ensure that babies, children, elderly people or animals are not left alone in stationary cars. Be alert and call the health services if someone is unwell or further help is needed

  1. INFECTIOUS DISEASES (Flu or other)

Preparing for infectious diseases

- get flu jabs

- check NHS website for details- http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu

To reduce your risk of getting flu or spreading it to other people, you should always:

  • make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • clean surfaces such as your keyboard, telephone and door handles regularly to get rid of germs
  • use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible

  1. LOSS OF UTILITIES
Preparation In the event

Electricity

– is distributed in Wiltshire by Scottish and Southern Energy

Download ‘Power Track’ App for smartphones (shows outages on a map)

Set http://www.ssepd.co.uk/Powertrack/ as a favourite on your web browser

If you are a vulnerable person, join the ‘Priority Services Register’ 0800 294 329

In an outage Call 0800 072 7282 for info (0345 072 1905 from a mobile phone)

There may be a rest centre opened by the Town or Parish Council. Call 01225 704187. Notices will be pinned outside the library, town hall and Melksham Without Parish notice boards.

The public can also call 105 to report power cuts.

check on vulnerable neighbours and contact authorities if they need help

Gas

Smell gas? Call the Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999

Interruption to supply? Call National Grid 24 hour Interruption information helpline: 08457 400 000

check on vulnerable neighbours and contact authorities if they need help

Water

– is supplied by Wessex Water

Keep http://www.wessexwater.co.uk/ as a favourite on your web browser

If you are a vulnerable person join the ‘Customer Care Plus’ 0345 600 3 600

For emergencies and operational problems Telephone 0345 600 4 600.

There may be a rest centre opened by the Town OR Parish Council. Call 01225 704187 or check www.melkshamtown.co.uk. notices will be pinned outside the library, town hall and Melksham Without Parish notice boards

check on vulnerable neighbours and contact authorities if they need help

  1. ANIMAL DISEASES Keep a check on Melksham Town Council and Melksham Without Parish Council websites for notices of any closed footpaths. Where you see a closed footpath sign, DO NOT ENTER as it could spread any diseases present.
  2. FUEL DISRUPTION 

1. conserve fuel:

- take fewer trips by car (walk to shops, school, etc) and use online shopping, if available.

- use public transport

- use Wiltshire’s carsharinghttps://wiltshire.liftshare.com/

2. Please do not to stockpile fuel (it can be very dangerous!)

  1. MAJOR EMERGENCIES - explosion/collision etc

GO IN: Go indoors, close doors and windows and shut down ventilation systems if it is safe to do so. Unless there is an obvious risk to the property this will give you good short-term protection against the vast majority of hazards.

STAY IN: Stay indoors until you know more about the situation and the appropriate action you need to take to protect yourself further. The action you should take will be different depending on the nature of an incident so you could put yourself at more risk by not waiting for further instructions.

TUNE IN: Tune in to local radio and television to find out more about what is happening. If there is a major emergency radio and TV companies will interrupt programming to give the public safety advice and information about the incident.

BBC Wiltshire can be heard via: 104.3FM, AM frequency: 1332.

Follow all information given out by the councils, emergency services or utility providers, you may be asked to evacuate your home for safety reasons.

Volunteers are always sought for help with emergency planning in the Melksham Area. For Melksham Town residents contact clare.harris@melkshamtown.co.uk or 01225 704187 or for Melksham Without Parish residents, you can email clerk@melkshamwithout.co.uk or call 01225 705700.

Melksham Assembly Hall

28Sep
Black Sabbath: The End of The End
Melksham Assembly Hall
Thu Sep 28 @ 7:30PM - 10:00PM
30Sep
Female of the Species Charity Concert
Melksham Assembly Hall
Sat Sep 30 @ 7:30PM - 10:00PM
06Oct
Tom Stade
Melksham Assembly Hall
Fri Oct 06 @ 7:30PM - 10:00PM
20Oct
Dominic Kirwan in Concert with Lisa Stanley
Melksham Assembly Hall
Fri Oct 20 @ 7:30PM -
21Oct
Melksham Rock & Roll: Catfish Kings
Melksham Assembly Hall
Sat Oct 21 @ 8:00PM - 12:00AM

What's on in Melksham

24Sep
St Michael's Church Angel Festival & Michaelmas Fayre
St Michael's Church, Melksham
Sun Sep 24 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
25Sep
Sparklers
Melksham Baptist Church
Mon Sep 25 @ 9:30AM - 11:30PM
25Sep
Yoga
Melksham Town Hall
Mon Sep 25 @ 9:30AM -
25Sep
Melksham Shed
Forest Community Centre
Mon Sep 25 @ 9:30AM - 12:30PM
25Sep
St Michael's Church Angel Festival & Michaelmas Fayre
St Michael's Church, Melksham
Mon Sep 25 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
25Sep
Happy Circle
Rowley Place, near Queensway, Melksham
Mon Sep 25 @10:30AM - 03:00PM
25Sep
Qigong Class
Reading Rooms Whitley
Mon Sep 25 @12:30PM - 01:30PM
25Sep
Lifeline
Melksham Baptist Church, Old Broughton Road (behind Lidl)
Mon Sep 25 @ 1:30PM - 03:30PM
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