Cornwall’s floods will have posed a huge challenge for the county’s public services and the communication teams that support them.
They will have needed to revert to crisis procedure, with a clear focus on getting vital information and services to areas that most need them, whilst responding to rapidly changing events.
On the ground, crews from 14 fire stations dealt with the flooding while helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor helped trapped drivers.
On top of this, residents, businesses and schools would need to know where support could be accessed, and when, how bad the flooding is expected to be and what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing. This requires hotlines, well briefed teams (dispatched to local areas if needs be), information speedily disseminated through the local press, websites and social media and public meetings for affected residents.
Then there’s the deluge of media interest, which will have kept press teams working around the clock providing timely information, briefing material and local representatives to be interviewed. Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson has played his part, appearing calm and well-informed in the national media, reporting on his discussions with the Prime Minister and outlining the action being taken to address the crisis. I take my hat off to them for the unstinting way they have acted today.
My thoughts are with the teams and residents who will be affected by the floods long after the media has left.