Strengthening Scotland’s resilience to severe weather

Lessons to be learned from Storm Arwen.

A range of changes are to be put in place to strengthen national resilience and protect lives, homes and infrastructure from the impacts of future severe weather events.

A review of the preparations for and response to Storm Arwen sets out 15 recommendations for the Scottish Government and its partners, the Scottish Resilience Partnership, local resilience partnerships, utility companies, the voluntary sector and national responders.  

Key recommendations include improved processes for identifying and assisting those most at risk, and bringing the voluntary and community sector into the heart of local resilience planning and response arrangements.  This will involve maximising access to a suitable volunteer pool during future events of a similar nature.

The government will track progress against the recommendations and provide a further update this June. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Following the widespread disruption and devastation caused by Storm Arwen, I committed to a full review of the preparations and response to ensure that we take all the learning from this exceptional storm. 

“We already have strong and robust arrangements in place to manage and address weather-related resilience issues at national, regional and local levels, but I want to ensure that our arrangements continue to evolve and strengthen for the future, which is what this review will help deliver.

“The experience of Storm Arwen underlined the vital role of volunteers and community groups in ensuring the welfare of those around them. That is why we intend to bring the voluntary and community sector into the heart of local resilience planning to ensure they are fully integrated into arrangements for the future. In addition, we will improve processes to help us identify those people who are most at risk, in order to direct and provide help as quickly as possible.

“We recognise the urgent need to prepare for increased severe weather as a consequence of the climate emergency, and to ensure arrangements in relation to our energy supply are as robust as possible as we transition towards net zero.”

Chair of the Scottish Resilience Partnership Jim Savege said:

“Storm Arwen was a particularly severe weather event that required a significant response from emergency responders, utility companies and communities over an extended period of time. I would want to recognise and thank all of those involved in the response for their efforts in helping ensure communities across affected areas were supported and helped where needed. As with every incident there is always learning and improvement to be had – the report sets out a range of areas where we can continue to strengthen our resilience as a country in preparation for any future events.”


A review into the response to Storm Arwen


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