AROUND 50 residents helped Peebles to ‘prepare for the worst’.

Organised by the Peebles Resilient Community Group (PRCG), locals took part in a training day on Sunday October 29, to prepare for another devastating flood.

As well as the volunteers, the group had the support and guidance from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland and Scottish Borders Council.

Co-ordinator Paul Spence told the Peeblesshire News: “We were greatly encouraged by the support given by the public. We had a wide variety of age groups that came to offer their skills in various ways.

“The objectives of the exercise were to test the call tree, test the co-ordination mechanism and to become better prepared in the event that we are called out for real.

“The call tree was activated on the Saturday evening where residents that were on the database were called and asked if they can assist. Additionally, social media was used to advise of the forthcoming training.”

Following the Sunday morning briefing the volunteers were split into three groups for specialist training.

Volunteers were given training by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in moving and laying sandbags for maximum effect against flood water.

There was also a floodgate demonstration.

And another group of volunteers were given the task of identifying vulnerable residents in properties around the Community Centre who would require additional assistance in the event of a flood or heavy snow.

Another group looked at ways of providing comfort and support in the event of an evacuation.

Paul added: “This part of the exercise proved invaluable, and allowed the PRCG to gather information that will prove extremely useful during a live event.

“They also looked at what advice could be given in the lead up to an event. What means could be used to advise residents of the support the could receive, and what the residents can do to help themselves.

“One proposal was to have a grab bag that could easily be accessed within the resident’s home to allow them to vacate their premises quickly.”

Another co-ordinator, Bob Kibble said: “We were extremely pleased with the training day’s successful outcome. We learned a lot as a group and also learned how to work more closely with the emergency services and local authority.

“Peebles is in a much better place in preparing for the worst.

“We would like to thank all the volunteers that turned up for the first Resilient Community Training day.”

To take part in future activities involving the Resilient Community, contact Paul Spence or Bob Kibble via Facebook or email