Storm Arwen review recommendations update: June 2022

Update on recommendations made in a review into the response to Storm Arwen.

Introduction and methodology

On Friday 26 November 2021, the Met Office issued a rare red warning for Storm Arwen. Over the days that followed, the storm would prove to be one of the most challenging weather events that Scotland has experienced in many years.

On 1 December 2021, while the recovery from the storm was still underway, the Deputy First Minister confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that: 

“In the aftermath of the incident, we will review the preparations for and response to Storm Arwen to ensure that we take all the learning from this exceptional storm. We 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.”

On 27 January 2022, we published a Review into the response to Storm Arwen, which set out 15 recommendations, grouped into six strategic themes.  


In that Review, we committed to track progress against the recommendations made, and to provide a further update in June 2022. This report seeks to fulfil that commitment. 

This report has been prepared by officials from our Resilience Division, which leads on emergency planning, response and recovery.

Statutory responsibility for emergency planning and response in Scotland lies with a range of agencies and public bodies, in particular Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, health boards, local authorities, Integration Joint Boards (health and social care), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.  

During an emergency, these responder organisations should work together with other relevant organisations, such as transport operators, emergency suppliers and voluntary sector partners,  as a ‘resilience partnership’, which helps them to coordinate, collaborate and share information.  Resilience Partnerships also exist year-round at a regional and local level to lead on relevant planning and exercising to build effective response arrangements. 

More information on statutory responsibility and legislation related to emergency planning can be found in the original Storm Arwen report and on the website.

In preparing this progress update, we have worked with a range of these partners, including the Scottish Resilience Partnership, regional and local resilience partnerships, and a number of specialist policy teams across the Scottish Government. 

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