Within Pembrokeshire there have been a number of incidents/emergencies that are beyond human control, mainly due to sever weather. There is nothing we can do to stop severe weather but we can be prepared for it.
At times we may experience the following:
- Gales and storms - damage to buildings and trees, risk to high-sided vehicles and other traffic, vehicle collisions, utility and telephony failure
- Heavy snow - roads and streets impassable, increased journey times, hampered delivery of essential services and supplies, vehicles abandoned, vehicle collisions, utility and telephony failure
- Heavy rain - flooding, hazardous driving conditions, power surges
- Fog - increased journey times, vehicle collisions
- Low temperatures, ice - dangerous roads and pavements, vehicle collisions, utility and telephony failure, increased risk to vulnerable people
- Heatwave - exhaustion and heat stroke, increased risk to vulnerable people
During times of severe weather Pembrokeshire County Council will do whatever is possible to alleviate the situation. For example, providing advice and information, gritting and snow clearance, flood response, dealing with dangerous buildings, perhaps opening rest centers, maintaining home care, closing schools if necessary, checking and clearing drains and culverts, as well as continuing to provide, as far as is practicable, its other everyday services.
However, it is the precautions and actions we take as individuals, prior to and during severe weather, that will have the biggest effect on how well we cope with it, or how badly it affects us, for example by:
- Keeping properties in good repair, adequately insulated and lagged
- Keeping drains and gullies clear of blockages, leaves etc.
- Checking that you are adequately insured
- Actively checking weather forecasts and warnings
- Keeping in stock some basic provisions, including a torch etc.
- Avoiding, where possible, the use of cars etc., when road conditions are treacherous
- Being a ‘good neighbour' and checking on vulnerable people in your neighbourhood
- Using ‘common sense'
There are three main types of flooding that affect Pembrokeshire
- Tidal - affecting coastal areas, estuaries and tidal stretches of river
- Fluvial - river levels rising to an extent where they over top banks or defenses
- Surface Water - heavy rain possibly coupled with blocked culverts and overloading of drains
Although tidal and fluvial flooding can be predicted, most properties can be affected by sudden downpours causing flooding.
For the current flooding situation in England and Wales
- Visit the Environment Agency's Floodline website (updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
- Call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 9881188
Reporting Flooded Roads or Footpaths
To check if you are at risk of flooding please click on the link below:
Be prepared for flooding
The following guides contain lots of information and practical advice on what to do before, during and after flooding. We want you to be prepared for flooding, know how to protect yourselves and your property, and stay safe in a flood
Environment Agency Flood guides: BEFORE
Environment Agency Flood guides DURING
Environment Agency Flood guides AFTER
The Environment Agency also offers comprehensive information about how to protect your property from flooding and how to create a flood plan.
To report a flooded road or footpath (e.g. due to a blocked drain)
- Contact your Highways Maintenance Area Office on 01437 764551
Please bear in mind that when there is particularly heavy rain, during a thunderstorm for example, roads and footpaths can get flooded temporarily. It is not usually necessary to report this.
Severe winter weather
There can be dangers if you are caught in a snowstorm. However, you can protect yourself, your car and your household from the many hazards of winter by planning ahead.
- Each winter the Council plans which roads will be gritted when ice and snow are forecast
- Always check the weather forecast before starting your trip
- Ask the question ‘Is my journey necessary?', if not, then don't travel. If it is, plan your journey using the primary route road network
- Find out if you can use public transport
- Allow extra time for your journey
- Clear the windows before setting off
- Ensure your vehicle has suitable anti-freeze added to its radiator and low-freezing screen-wash to the washer bottle
- Ensure that your vehicle is in good working order - wash all lights and indicators frequently
- In cold conditions always drive with extra care and never assume that a road has been gritted
- Tune into your local radio station for regular travel news updates
- Use dipped headlights when driving in rain, fog or snow
- Always keep plenty of fuel in your tank
Keep an emergency supply kit in your car, which includes:
- Suitable winter clothes and footwear and a blanket or sleeping bag
- Mobile phone, radio, torch and extra batteries
- Shovel and windscreen scraper
- Water and snacks
- Tow chain or rope
- Jump leads
If you get stuck in a winter storm in a remote area:
- Pull off the road. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio aerial or window
- Remain in your vehicle. Only leave the car if there are buildings nearby where you know you can take shelter. Distances are distorted by drifting snow - a building may seem close but may be too far to walk in deep snow
- Run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a window slightly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe
- Move around to maintain body heat, but avoid over-exertion
- Huddle with passengers
- Make sure that someone in the car stays awake to keep an eye out for rescue teams
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration
- Don't waste battery power
Make your home is safe for winter
Prepare to survive in your home on your own, without outside help, for at least three days. A home emergency supply kit will help in this eventuality. If your house is in a remote area:
- Ensure that you have sufficient heating fuel for your house. Arrange that you have alternative heating equipment plus sufficient fuel for it in case the electricity supply is cut off
- Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes. Keep fire extinguishers to hand and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them
- Listen to the local radio or television for weather reports and emergency information
- Eat regularly and drink ample fluids (avoid caffeine and alcohol)
- Dress appropriately. Several layers of light loose fitting clothing are better than one thick layer. The outer layer should be water repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Always wear a hat as most body heat is lost through the head
- Watch out for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling in extremities with a white or pale appearance. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately
- Watch out for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are detected, move the person to a warm location, remove any wet clothing, warm the body from inside first by giving them a warm non-alcoholic drink (if conscious). Get medical help immediately
- Regularly check up on family and friends who are vulnerable, such as the elderly