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Red Cross uses Disaster Fund to help in snow battle

17 December 2010

Emergency response volunteers and a Land Rover in the snowAs volunteers in Northern Scotland tackle a fresh deluge of heavy snow, the British Red Cross has released £21,000 from its Disaster Fund to help support the relief effort.

Heavy snowfall in the past few weeks has already caused huge disruption across the UK, and now the Met Office has once more issued severe weather warnings for many areas.

In Northern Scotland, which has been particularly badly hit by severe weather, Red Cross emergency response volunteers – equipped with Land Rover 4x4 vehicles – have been engaged in a constant battle to reach and support vulnerable people under what an AA spokesman described as the ‘worst imaginable’ conditions.

Major emergency

With the current run of heavy snowfall expected to last throughout Christmas and into the New Year, the volunteers are running low on emergency relief stocks. And that’s why the British Red Cross has released £21,000 from its Disaster Fund, which is specifically designed to help ensure an immediate response to major emergencies.

Ian Rideout, operations director, said: “Our volunteers have been constantly on the go since late November, responding to almost 60 call-outs and reaching more than 70 vulnerable people who really needed our support. We’ve had 12 call-outs already since we started at four this morning, which gives some indication of just how busy things are going to be.

“Understandably, we’ve now depleted our stocks of severe weather supplies and, given that we’re in for a long spell of blizzards and heavy snow, we urgently need fresh equipment.”

The money will help buy vitally needed goods, such as: rescue shovels, de-icing salt, blankets, ambulance packs, self-heating meals and vehicle survival kits. 

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