New emergency response volunteers signed up at Beer flooding exhibition

east devon

The Westcountry Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, Beer Emergency Response Team and the Beer HM. Coastguard. - Credit: Adam Manning.

The village of Beer held a flooding exhibition last Thursday, (July 28), with historic photographs and the chance to sign up for the Beer Emergency Response Team.

The event was held at the Marines Hall, Beer high Street on Thursday, between 10am and 4pm and featured stands from local organisations. 

Representatives included the Environment Agency, the Beer Emergency Response Team, Beer Coastguard and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. 

123 people visited the exhibition throughout the day and 14 people signed up as volunteers with the Beer Emergency Response Team, who are training at the moment, so if a flood does occur, they are fully prepared to evacuate people and set up community areas people can go to for food and hospitality.  

With East Devon being a rural and coastal region, small towns like Beer and Seaton need to be prepared should the worse happen and their homes are flooded. During a major incident it could take a while for the emergency services to travel from the major towns to help people, so it's important a team who can alleviate a response straight away and based locally. 

The exhibition included historic flooding from a range of East Devon towns in the 1950s on the river Otter, which flooded Sidmouth and Sidford.  

As well as historic flooding in Seaton, Colyford and Axford in the 1950s and 1960s. Pictures also included were from the 2004 Boscastle flood in Cornwall. 

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Chris Kahn, flood risk management officer at the Environment Agency told the Herald: “The intention of today's event is to raise awareness and give attendees the information they need to prepare, act, survive. Additionally, the Beer Emergency Response Team hopes to attract new members to support its newly created Community Emergency Plan for the village.” 

I’m really pleased the Beer Emergency Response Team (BERT) managed to sign some new members; it shows what a great community spirit they have in the village. BERT plan to carry out a training exercise in the village in the Autumn with Environment Agency support.” 

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the Beer Emergency Response Team can email heliewhitt@gmail.com. 

east devon

July 1956 flooding. - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.

east devon

The water levels of the flooding being measured on the buildings. - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.

east devon

Flooding in East Devon in the 1970s - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.

east devon

Flooding in East Devon. - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.

east devon

Flooding in East Devon. - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.

Environment Agency Archive.

Old photo of flooding in Beer. - Credit: Environment Agency Archive.