AFTER the devastation caused by Storm Frank at the turn of 2016, a Peebles community group is preparing for the worst this weekend.

On Sunday, the Peebles Resilient Community Group (PRCG) is holding a training day across the town, to prepare residents to deal with events which might unfold in the future.

The event, which will last for about two hours, will start with a gathering of all volunteers in the Drill Hall at 10am. 

Volunteers will be welcomed by members of the co-ordinating group and allocated to a training task.

The Borders Fire Service and Scottish Borders Council will also be present to assist the group.

Co-ordinator Paul Spence told the Peeblesshire News: “With the forthcoming winter and recent named storms it makes great sense that the local community is organised and prepared to take on whatever event is sent our way. 

“On the advice of Scottish Borders Council we have decided to hold a training event this Sunday morning. 

“The focus of the training day will be to look at how best to manage the placing and fixing of flood gates in the Tweed Green area and how best to manage an allocation of sandbags. 

“We believe that this is the most probable task which we might be called upon to assist with.”

The event will also give PRCG an opportunity to test out the current ‘call tree’. 

This is a list of volunteers who have their contact details stored on a database. 

The start of the training will commence with a brief communication on Saturday evening, inviting volunteers to the Drill Hall in Walker’s Haugh for a response to an ‘emergency’. 

If members of the community are not part of the database, they can still take part.

Paul explained: “Volunteers of all capacity and ability are most welcome, the ability to talk and provide comfort over a cup of tea is just as important as being able to shift sandbags or clear drains.

“We advise volunteers to wear sensible clothing for lifting sand bags (where capable). Some volunteers will be allocated to refreshment duties in the Drill Hall.

“It is envisaged that we’ll hold a debrief of the event at about 11.45am with the hall being cleared and the event ending by 12.30pm.

“Further communications about this training event will be posted on the PRCG Facebook page, in the run up to Sunday.

“ It is intended to make the training exercise as real as possible and will help the community improve response time in a real event.”

In December 2015, Police Scotland declared a major incident in Peebles, after Storm Frank caused unprecedented flooding in the town. River levels rose to their highest ever since 1994.

If members of the community wish to be on the contacts database, email or contact Paul Spence on 07501 500656 for further details.