Horsell's (Nearly) Ready for Anything

Horsell's (Nearly) Ready for Anything

After much planning, the Horsell Prepared team are happy to say that the volunteer service for local emergencies will launch at the end of April.

What does this mean? When launched, Horsell Prepared can be called upon by Woking Borough Council in a local emergency incident, and asked to support the emergency services or utilities to supply and co-ordinate local volunteers. It also means the village will be better equipped to provide a co-ordinated community recovery plan from flooding, wildfires, power outages, adverse weather and all sorts of other problems, once the emergency services have left the scene.

What is Horsell Prepared? Since the announcement of this volunteering initiative in summer 2017, 80 volunteers have registered to be contacted as volunteers for Horsell Prepared if needed, and told us about their skills. Wow! But Horsell Prepared is not just about these volunteers. It's a co-ordinated local resilience network, and it pulls together many groups in the village to create a co-ordinated response if required. St. Mary's Church and Horsell Snow Angels are part of the growing network of local groups who could be notified and called upon by Horsell Prepared for specific functions. This makes the wider network of potential volunteers in Horsell up to 250 people. It's comforting to know that we will be able to get people out in an organised way if we need to. To add your name or your organisation to the list, email us at horsellprepared@gmail.com.

What will happen in an emergency? After we are contacted by Woking Borough Council, we will establish a virtual 'Control Room' as the central point of communication for volunteers and authorities. From this control room we'll send text messages to our own volunteers to establish availability to help, and also call out other local groups as needed for specific tasks or simply with an appeal for more volunteers. Those volunteers able to attend will receive a telephone incident briefing before going to a defined location. Horsell Prepared will also have an on-site Incident Co-ordinator to provide further details and instructions to volunteers and to help allocate tasks 'on the ground'.

Keeping the village informed. Communications with the whole village in an emergency will be a key part of Horsell Prepared's role. That's why we're setting up an answerphone message which will always have the latest incident information. You can take a note of this number right now - it will be 01483 380025 (the same number as used by Horsell Snow Angels on snow days). We'll be publicising this number on all local noticeboards as well as in local magazines and on social media when it goes live. We'll definitely be making full use of the Horsell Village Wire Facebook Group to keep the community informed in any emergency, and this is where we will also be able to appeal for casual volunteers if even more volunteers are needed.

What's next? During March we'll be putting the finishing touches to our planning including completing a written guide for volunteers and communicating our processes. We're also finalising insurance and policies. In April we hope to be meeting with volunteers and holding a test of our technology, before going 'live'. We also hope to have group meetings and training opportunities throughout the year.

How can you get involved? We always welcome more volunteers, but we are particularly in need of a couple of extra Co-ordinators who can learn how to call out volunteers in an emergency (from our virtual control room) or to co-ordinate volunteers "on the ground" during an incident. You don't need to commit to being in Horsell all the time, but the more people we have who are capable of doing these critical tasks, the more resilient we'll be as a village. Anyone interested should email horsellprepared@gmail.com to find out more. Our website https://horsellprepared.interests.me/ is where you'll be able to find volunteer sign-up forms and all the latest information.

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Horsell Prepared

Otherwise known as the Horsell Resilience Team, Horsell Prepared aims to create a co-ordinated volunteer capability to help Horsell deal with any future emergency or incident affecting multiple households in Horsell.

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