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Red Cross helps families affected by storms and flooding

7 January 2014

Teams of British Red Cross emergency response volunteers were called into action across the UK as storms brought widespread flooding to many regions. 

Coastal areas of southern England, north-west Wales and Northern Ireland were particularly affected by huge waves and strong winds.

In Northern Ireland, Red Cross volunteers and staff distributed sandbags to residents at risk of flooding in and around Belfast.

It was feared a high tide yesterday afternoon would bring widespread flooding to the capital. Volunteers were on standby to help, but thankfully flood defences held firm.

The Red Cross also sent a 4x4 vehicle to the town of Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, following reports of flooding in the area.

Emergency shelter

Red Cross volunteers in north-west Wales helped Gwynedd Council establish a rest centre in Barmouth as tidal surges, exacerbated by torrential rain and high winds, caused some of the highest tides in decades.

More than 60 people registered at the centre as properties were evacuated on Thursday night. Red Cross volunteers were on-hand to provide warm drinks, food, first aid and emotional support.

Volunteers in Flintshire were also deployed to assist the local authority with rest centres in Holywell and Deeside.

Three Red Cross volunteers attended a rest centre in Aberystwyth, which welcomed about 100 people on Friday night, while in Cardigan another centre helped 26 people forced from their homes.

Ready to help

Nigel Davies, emergency response manager for Wales, said: “We are an emergency response organisation, here to help people in times of crisis.

“At the Red Cross we know that severe weather can happen quickly and have serious consequences. The Red Cross helps people across the UK cope with the effects of severe weather and we are prepared and ready to go.”

Teams across southern and northern England were on standby to respond to any requests for help, but were not called upon. 

Severe weather

Simon Lewis, head of UK emergency planning and response, said: “Our teams of emergency response volunteers have been on a heightened state of alert to support any requests for help.

“The severe weather is set to continue so we will monitor the situation and are always ready to help when called upon.”

Get advice and information on preparing for and dealing with flooding.

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