22 November 2016
A team of Red Cross emergency response volunteers have had a busy few days supporting local communities as Storm Angus swept across South Wales.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service requested the support of the emergency response team in the early hours of Sunday morning when rising flood waters threatened homes in Pencoed.
The volunteers used a Land Rover Defender to reach the town. After pulling on their wellington boots they knocked on residents’ doors, waking them from their sleep, to inform them of the potential risk caused by the heavy rainfall.
The crew – Karl Marsh, Rhys Taylor and Jonny Walsh - were then directed onto Maesteg where flood water had rushed through numerous streets and houses affecting approximately 100 homes.
Karl Marsh, lead volunteers, said: “The water was flowing down the roads like a river. I’ve never seen anything like it. We were speaking to people through their top floor windows to check that they were ok and, where possible, helped arrange alternative accommodation. We also helped the firefighters to set up barriers to try to divert the water away from threatened properties.”
The volunteers remained at the scene until mid-morning, carrying out welfare checks and offering practical advice such as providing information about accessing insurance.
On Friday, a house in Llandow caught fire after it was struck by lightning. Red Cross volunteers provided emotional support to the resident and helped to arrange accommodation and replacement medication.
The crew also attended flooding incidents in Cardiff and Newport where they offered reassurance and practical support to those affected.
Rob Donovan, emergency response operations manager at the Red Cross, said: “Our volunteers have provided an exceptional service over the last few days. The people they have helped have been incredibly grateful for the support and advice they’ve received.
“The Red Cross is an emergency response organisation and we are fully prepared to provide humanitarian assistance as long as we are needed. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers who have given up their own time over the last few days supporting our partners and local communities.”
Advice on preparing for, and dealing with the aftermath of flooding is available on the Red Cross website at: http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Preparing-for-disasters/How-to-prepare-for-emergencies
Notes to editors
The Red Cross emergency support service works in partnership with South Wales Fire and Rescue to look after the welfare of those affected by an emergency, such as house fires or floods.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
Follow us on Twitter: @RedCrossWales