Supporting the people of Ukraine
As the situation in Ukraine deteriorates along with the impact of the humanitarian crisis, many people across Pembrokeshire are offering their help and support.
Show your support
There are a number of ways we can show our support here in Pembrokeshire.
With many logistical routes closed and transportation systems under significant pressure, sending physical goods could add more stress to the situation on the ground. Making cash donations, to organisations responding to the crisis in Ukraine, allows for emergency relief goods to be sourced locally.
To protect against fraud, we would recommend you use recognised international charities and organisations who are appealing for financial contributions at this time.
- Disasters Emergency Committee (opens in a new tab) and British Red Cross appeals (opens in a new tab) have merged
- The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (opens in a new tab) can also support
- Finally we are aware that Unicef (opens in a new tab) have set up a donation page
Here are FAQs from the British Red Cross on why physical donations are discouraged: Frequently asked questions (opens in a new tab)
Assistance for family and those affected
If you are an immediate family member of a British National normally living in Ukraine and intend to apply for a visa under the Family Migration route, read the guidance on visas for immediate family members of British nationals normally living in Ukraine (opens in a new tab) You should call +44 (0) 300 3032785 for assistance before applying. Lines are open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am-5.30pm.
The situation in Ukraine may be traumatic for family members, friends and those currently living in Wales. The CALL (Community Advice & Listening Line) Mental Health helpline (opens in a new tab) is available 24 hours a day to listen and provide support. Call 0800 132737 or text ‘Help’ to 81066.
All citizens in Wales have a right to live their lives free from targeted abuse. Welsh Government have stated they will not tolerate hate crimes fuelled by global events. If you have been a victim of hate crime then report it to the police or to the National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre run by Victim Support (opens in a new tab).
If you live in a river flood area your property may be at risk of flooding from severe weather events. If you live near the coast, there is always a possibility that a combination of high tides and bad weather will threaten your property. Even if you live inland, recent storm events have shown that the drainage system is simply overwhelmed by the amount of water it is expected to carry, therefore flooding can occur from surface water, field run off, etc...
What we are doing?
The Council will aim to:-
- Provide advice and guidance to residents, who may be affected by the event, on ways to alleviate the risk of flooding to their properties.
- Have engineers and maintenance workers on duty to provide immediate support at key locations and ensure that defences and drainage system are inspected, maintained and works carried out at earliest opportunity
- Maintain and clear road networks impacted by severe weather
- If necessary, assist in the evacuation of residents and the provision of temporary accommodation through rest centres
- Respond to requests for emergency assistance from the public based on priorities and also on the availability of resources, if safe to do so.
- Work with multi agency partners to minimise the impact of flooding and storms on the communities in Pembrokeshire and ensure the continuity of key services
At times of emergency, the Council will endeavour to protect the public at large and will not be able to assist a large number of individual homeowners who may find their properties threatened.
Flood alerts & warnings
Natural Resources Wales work with the Met Office to provide warnings to those at risks of flooding.
You can call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 any time night or day for real-time flood warnings and advice, including registration to the Flood Warning Services.
The free service provides flood warnings direct to you by telephone, mobile, fax or pager. You'll also get practical advice on preparing for a flood, and what to do if one happens.
Alternatively, check current flood warnings in place on: Natural Resources Wales (opens in a new tab)
Severe weather warnings can be viewed on: Met Office (opens in a new tab)
Natural Resources Wales cannot give residents warning of surface water flooding but you can find out about the possibility of this type of flooding by checking local weather forecasts.
How can I be better prepared?
1 in 6 properties in Wales is at risk of flooding. Floods can happen anywhere at any time. Make sure you know how to be prepared and what to do when a flood happens.
Responsibility for the prevention of flooding and protection of property lies with the individual owners/tenants. Residents of Pembrokeshire should not rely on the Council to respond to a threat of flooding to their property but should have in place their own flood protection plan (opens in a new tab) as detailed in Natural Resources Wales guidance, especially those who live in identified flood risk areas. Here is some generic guidance:
Before flooding happens
- Register for flood alerts, check flood warnings in force and keep an eye on weather forecast and warning
- Make a flood plan and ensure important items are not stored downstairs
- Prepare your house or business for flooding (opens in a new tab) If you require sandbags, please contact local builders' merchants for stocks of sand and bags. You can also find suppliers of modern non-sand bags designed for flooding on the National Flood Forum Blue Pages Directory (opens in a new tab). It is the homeowner responsibility to protect their properties.
- Keep drains and gullies on your property clear of blockages, leaves, etc...
- Check on your neighbours and vulnerable members of your community
is a national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding.
Phone 01299 403055.
What to do during a flood?
In the event of a flood it is important to focus on the safety of you and your family.
- Switch off electricity / gas supplies
- Fit flood protection equipment: flood gates, sandbags, toilet bungs (downstairs only)
- Move furniture, pets and important items to safety
- Switch on local radio
- Contact the Council to report flooded roads and properties
- Contact 999 if you require emergency assistance
If flooding has occurred
- Remember that flood water is dangerous and can be contaminated
- Be mindful that surface water flooding can occur anywhere
- Avoid travelling or if essential, check traffic updates and road condition before starting your journey
- Follow evacuation advice from emergency responders
What to do after a flood?
Here is some advice on how to clear up your home or business after a flood and deal with insurance claim.
- If you were evacuated from your property, only return if you have been told it is safe to do so
- When clearing after flood, always wear waterproof and protective clothing
- Contact your building and content insurance or your landlord as soon as possible
- If you do not have insurance, contact the Council to obtain details of grants or contact PAVS to get details of charities that may be able to help you.
- Ensure a qualified person/engineer checks your gas and electricity before switching it back on
If you are drying your property naturally, keep doors and windows open as much as possible. If using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows. Dehumidifiers can be hired at hire premises.
- You can clean and disinfect your property using ordinary household products. If you are a food premises, contact the Local Authority Food Safety team for advice.
Please note that the disposal of sandbags becomes the responsibility of the homeowner. Gloves should be worn in case of contact with contaminated water.
While evacuation is generally considered to be a last resort, evacuations are more common than you may think. A gas leak may cause the emergency services to evacuate a whole street.
Not all evacuations are long term, sometimes you can return after a few hours, however, in a chemical incident, your house may not be habitable and you would have to be re-housed while decontamination is carried out.
Be prepared for an evacuation
- Discuss with your family what you would do in the event of an evacuation
- Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated during an emergency
- Assemble an emergency supply kit including essential items, e.g. prescription medicine, baby items (if applicable), toiletries, phone numbers, radio etc
- Know how to shut off your home's electricity, gas and water supplies at main switches and valves and have the necessary tools to hand
If you are advised to evacuate
- Respond to the instructions from the emergency services. They will inform you, tell you what to do and where to go
- Use whatever transport is made available
- Report to any named location where further advice will be available
- Make sure you have warm clothing
- Get together any special food for babies and medicines in use
- Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies
- Close and lock windows and doors when you leave
- Make sure you have a secure carrier or leash for any pets
Did you know you can now get an update of the bridge status via e-mail or by texting ‘bridge' to 80039?
To receive an e-mail, follow the instructions below:-
- Create an online account
- Login to your account and choose the 'My Services' icon.
- Then choose, ‘Bridge Closure Notifications'
Note: If you choose to send a text ‘bridge' to 80039, you will be charged the standard network rate.
Within Pembrokeshire there have been a number of incidents/emergencies that are beyond human control, mainly due to severe 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 we 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 Wales
- Visit Natural Resources Wales (opens in a new tab) (updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
- Call them on 0345 988 1188 Reporting Flooded Roads or Footpaths
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
Natural Resources Wales (opens in a new tab) 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 sure 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
The 2015 the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) aim to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances and limit the consequences to people and the environment of any which do occur.
The COMAH Regulations give detailed advice about the scope of, and the duties imposed by the legislation to the operators of such establishments, the emergency services and the Local Authorities. A key feature of the COMAH Regulations is that they are enforced by a Competent Authority, which comprises of the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.
COMAH establishments are graded by the Competent Authority as either upper-tier or lower-tier dependant on the quantities and types of substances they produce and/or store.
The COMAH Regulations 2015 place a duty on Local Authority in whose administrative area an upper establishment is situated to prepare an external emergency plan specifying the measures to be taken outside the establishment in the event of a major accident.
The COMAH Regulations require that the Operator of a top-tier establishment produces two plans:
- An On-site Emergency Plan, which is prepared by the operator, to specify the response to an emergency which may affect those who work on the site.
- An Eexternal Emergency Plan, which has to be prepared by the Local Authority, which specifies the co-ordinated response of partner agencies to an emergency which has any off-site effects.
Currently we have 5 top tier sites located in Pembrokeshire these being:
- Puma - Milford Haven
- Valero - Pembroke
- Valero Pembrokeshire Oil Terminal - Waterston
- Dragon LNG - Waterston
- South Hook LNG - Herbranston
All of these sites have on-site and external site plans, with the plans being tested and exercised every three years.
Community Risk Register
Emergencies are obviously something all of us hope will never happen, but if one were to occur here in Pembrokeshire we want to be as well prepared as we can be.
To help us decide where we should concentrate our efforts in emergency planning terms it is important that we continue to assess the potential risks to our County.
The importance of risk assessment is emphasised by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA).
The CCA places a legal duty on Category 1 responders (these include the police, fire, ambulance, health, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and Local Authorities) to undertake risk assessments and maintain them in a Community Risk Register (CCR).
Risks in this context are those things that could result in major consequences for our County. If something is categorised as a very high risk on the register it does not mean that it is very likely to happen. It means that, because of its potential consequences, it needs to be treated as a very high priority.
The Community Risk Register is the first step in an emergency planning process and it will help us and our partners ensures that the plans we develop are proportionate to the risk and ultimately help us to help you.
Emergency plans and procedures
We are required to prepare plans and procedures to help us to respond to an incident or emergency in an effective manner.
We also have to work with multi agency partners to prepare and plan for the response and recovery to a range of incidents ensuring a co-ordinated and effective response.
Multi Agency and Internal plans are reviewed, exercised and tested on a regular basis, ensuring that Local Authority staff are aware of their roles, responsibilities and actions if/when an emergency occurs.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 places a duty upon Local Authorities to put in place Business Continuity Management arrangements and to promote business continuity to businesses, in particular small and medium enterprises, and voluntary organisations.
Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a process that helps mitigate the risks of an incident, disaster, disruption or emergency. It means planning to ensure the smooth running of an organisation, or delivery of a service in the event of a disruption.
This could include one or more of the following
- Loss of a major building or facility e.g. fire, storm damage
- Large staff absences e.g. epidemic/pandemic
- Severe Weather e.g. snow, flooding
- Loss of utilities e.g. electricity, gas, water, telephones, IT (Information Technology)
- Major industrial incident e.g. major fire, release of chemicals
Did you know?
- About 20% of businesses suffer a significant disruption each year
- 58% of UK businesses report that they were disrupted as a result of September 11th with one in eight severely affected
- 80% of businesses affected by a major incident do not re-open or close within 18 months
- 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut within two years
Why do you need a business continuity plan?
Experience has shown that organisations with business continuity arrangements in place are more likely to stay in business and recover quickly in the event of an emergency than those who do not. It is not only the major emergencies that disrupt organisations; a wide range of day-to-day disruptions can threaten the smooth running of an organisation.
Developing a business continuity plan will assist you to manage your risks to ensure that, at all times, your organisation can continue operating to at least a pre-determined minimum level. This will enable you to continue service delivery during and beyond a crisis.
‘Preparing for Emergencies (opens in a new tab)', has useful advice on business continuity. The website exists to provide information to the public, businesses and voluntary/community groups on the risks and what to do if an incident occurs.
If you require further assistance or wish to discuss any particular issues concerning business continuity, you can contact our Business Continuity Team or the Emergency Planning Dept Tel: 01437 775661
What is community resilience?
Community resilience is about communities and individuals harnessing local resources and expertise to help themselves in an emergency, in a way that complements the response of the emergency services.
Why is community resilience important?
Emergencies happen, preparing yourself and your family will make it easier to recover from the impacts of an emergency.
Being aware of the risks you might face, and who in your community might need your help, could make your community better prepared to cope with an emergency.
Local emergency responders will always have to prioritise those in greatest need during an emergency, especially where life is in danger. During these times, you need to know how to help yourself and those around you.
Principles of Community Resilience
- Communities are self selecting
- Communities need to act in support of the Emergency services
- It is done by the people not to the people
- Communities need to use local knowledge and existing networks
- Communities need to raise the awareness of the risks
Benefits of Community Resilience
- Communities can minimise the impact of an emergency and therefore potential damage to person or property.
- Communities can be quicker to recover following an emergency
- The community will have structured communication networks
- Community members tend to have a "can do" attitude and "muck in"
- Members of the community often know what actions need to be taken to help reduce the impact of a specific problem.
- They feel that the actions taken are specific to their needs and not imposed on them from the outside.
- The communities tend to continue to work together when the emergency has passed, making improvements or maintaining local facilities etc.
- The communities tend to look to themselves for answers and problem solving, not wait or look to outside agencies.
- People within the community are better able to understand the roles of outside agencies in an emergency and therefore communicate their needs and priorities
Resilient Community Features
Resilient Communities usually have the following features:
- Aware of risks and awareness of vulnerable people
- Have a community champion
- Have a community emergency group who are able to influence decision making in the interest of the community
- Strive towards partnership working
- Have a community emergency plan
- People within the community are prepared to use ordinary skills in extraordinary circumstances
For more information contact: Emergency Planning Office on 01437 775661 or email@example.com
What to do in an emergency
Pembrokeshire County Council along with multi agency responder agencies have produced a community risk register to help you understand the type of emergencies that can affect you and guide you in preparing for and responding to an incident/emergency.
In addition to this it may be helpful to write your own emergency plan. The emergency services and the Council prepare generic plans in preparation for possible emergencies. You can do the same for your home.
How to write an emergency plan
- Start by looking around you and consider which possible incidents may affect you. Is there a risk of flooding? Do you live near a chemical or nuclear installation? Don't forget the possibility of house fires
- Discuss how you would respond to possible incidents with everyone in the household
- Plan how you would stay in touch if you were separated. Identify two meeting places: the first should be near your home and the second should be away from your neighbourhood in case you cannot return home. Agree on a friend or relative who lives outside the area that you can call to say you're safe
- Place a list of emergency numbers by each telephone in the house. Teach children how and when to phone 999
- Put together a pack, which includes the details of insurance companies, banks, car registrations etc. Ask a friend or relative to keep a copy for you
- If you are disabled keep extra supplies of items you may need such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for guide or hearing dogs etc
- Be aware who in your neighbourhood or building is disabled so that you can assist them during an emergency
Preparing an emergency kit
During an emergency, emergency services that cover a widespread area may not be able to reach you immediately. There may be a possibility that you will have to fend for yourself for some time. Being prepared will help. Having a stock of food, emergency supplies and preparing to cope if you lose your power, gas and/or water supply may prove vital.
In an emergency
Follow the advice you are given by the emergency services. You may be told to:
- Stay indoors and close doors, windows, kitchen fans, etc
- Listen to local radio/media for further information
- Keep telephone calls to a minimum to avoid overloading the system