What is being done to stop Scotland from being ravaged by wild weather?

A driver was killed in Aberdeenshire and there was significant damage to infrastructure following Storm Arwen.

Steps taken to ensure Scotland is better prepared for wild weather after severe storms like Arwen STV News
Storm Arwen swept across the UK last year and left tens of thousands of homes without power.

New measures are being put in place to ensure that Scotland is better prepared for severe weather.

A review was carried out into the preparations and response to major weather events following Storm Arwen.

The storm, which hit Scotland in November last year, caused the death of a driver in Aberdeenshire with a fallen tree and led to significant damage to infrastructure.

Tens of thousands of homes across the country were also left without power for several days in the wake of the storm.

There are now recommendations for a review of arrangements in place for an emergency which involves the loss of both power and telecoms.

And the Scottish Government and Resilience Partnerships are to review their processes for sharing briefing and information during circumstances where usual methods of communication are challenged.

Meanwhile, local authorities are being urged to consider what more they can do to support and develop community resilience in their areas.

Deputy first minister John Swinney insisted there is “no room for complacency” as he acknowledged the need to prepare for increased severe weather.

“The purpose of the Storm Arwen review was to ensure lessons were learned and translated into real change to ensure Scotland’s collective resilience approach to future severe weather events is as robust as possible,” he said.

“The existing Scottish Government and partner arrangements at national, regional and local levels are underpinned by the same fundamental aim – to keep the people of Scotland safe from danger and ensure our communities are resilient and able to bounce back from challenging disruption.

“The Scottish Government and responder organisations have been working hard to begin implementing the review’s recommendations and I am reassured by the progress outlined today.

“However, there is no room for complacency and we recognise the need to prepare for increased severe weather.

“Good planning and preparation is crucial to minimise the impacts on communities as experienced with Storm Arwen.”

Scottish Resilience Partnership chair, Jim Savege, explained that every incident and response is an “opportunity for learning” as he thanked communities and organisations working on preparations.

“Ensuring we have effective resilience across Scotland – whether at individual or household level, or for emergency responder organisations – requires a continual process of planning and preparation,” he said.

“Every incident and response is an opportunity for learning and improvement and this approach is at the heart of the annual SRP-led programme of preparedness.”

He added: “This year’s programme has included a strong focus on individual and community resilience which is of vital importance, particularly in light of Storm Arwen.

“I must extend my thanks to communities and organisations who have been working hard to ensure we are as ready and prepared as we can be to respond to and deal with the different events that are inevitably in front of us.”