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Building resilience: charity’s vital guide to emergency planning in Aberdeenshire

Advice for over-50s on how to stay safe for emergencies and beyond.

Cars on flooded street.
With extreme weather events predicted to become more common, it's vital to be prepared.

Whether we like it or not, our weather is getting more extreme and less predictable. Storms and flooding are more common occurrences. A Met Office report last year pointed to the increasing frequency of extreme rainfall and said it would become four times more likely this century than it was in the 1980s.

All this means there is a greater need to be prepared for the damage these events can cause, particularly as we get older.

In late November 2021 Storm Arwen hit the UK, causing widespread damage. In Aberdeenshire a driver was killed by a falling tree and there was major loss of power, along with impacts on care at home services, transport, schools, water supply and telecoms. It also led to a raft of enquiries for help across the Aberdeenshire area from people needing help with power cuts and flood damage.

That led to Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and Moray Council joining forces to ensure the necessary support was in place in the event of further natural disasters.

As part of this initiative, Age Scotland in collaboration with Aberdeenshire Council has produced a resilience guide. This provides vital advice on emergency planning and support for the over-50s in Aberdeenshire.

The free guide also contains a raft of information on general preparedness, caring for your health, looking after your money, planning for the future and connecting with your community.

It’s a vital tool for over-50s and those with ageing relatives who want to ensure they are fully prepared for all eventualities.

Here we detail how it can help you put yourself in the best position in case disaster strikes.

Vital advice on emergency planning in Aberdeenshire

Storm damaged roof.
Damage from storms may result in hefty bills and it is vital to be properly insured.

Preparing for emergencies

The guide will take you through how to prepare for emergencies, including writing an emergency plan and important contact numbers to have on hand.

It will also detail how to put together an emergency survival kit with items including emergency plan copies, medications, toiletries, water, food, spare clothing, keys, glasses, radio, torch, cash and mobile charger.

You will find out how to arrange insurance for flooding and useful sources of advice and support. These include the Scottish Flood Forum and Flood Re, an initiative that allows insurance companies to keep their prices affordable and still be able to fund payouts for flooding.

There is also advice on making use of alerts and priority services including:

·       Signing up for Priority Services Registers for advance notice of service disruptions.

·       Registering with Floodline for flood alerts and to stay informed through weather warnings.

Money matters

The guide provides help with finances including how to get council tax reductions and discounts on insurance, phone and internet costs.

It also details how to get a benefit check to ensure entitlements are claimed and how to get help with energy costs such as through the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount.

Practical advice

There’s lots of information on practical matters for emergency planning such as how to get repairs seen to whether you’re a homeowner, tenant or sheltered housing resident in Aberdeenshire.

You’ll also find out what community care services are available and how to access them. There is also advice about getting emergency support and how to arrange a Home Fire Safety Visit.

In addition, there are tips on avoiding scams whether they be by phone, doorstep or email.

Health and social wellbeing

The guide explains how to avoid loneliness through community events and Age Scotland’s own Community Connecting Service. There is also Age Scotland’s helpline which offers advice on issues affecting over-50s and friendship to those who are feeling lonely and isolated.

If you’re looking for tips on keeping active and healthy eating then there is plenty of information on that too, as well as how to access vital healthcare services.

Planning for the future

Finally, you can get advice on safeguarding your future through processes such as arranging Power of Attorney, writing a will and funeral planning.

How to get hold of your Age Scotland Resilience Guide

The Age Scotland Resilience Guide is free and will help you and those you love to be in the best possible shape for emergencies and beyond.

If you would like a copy, you can order one online or call the charity’s helpline for free on 0800 12 44 222.

So, take the action you need to now and make sure you’re fully prepared for the unexpected.