British Red Cross emergency teams are responding across the UK as severe weather conditions and winds of almost 100 mph whipped across swathes of the country. Since Sunday night, Red Cross staff and volunteers braved the hurricane-force storm - dubbed St. A Red Cross fire and emergency services team is supporting the family of a 17-year-old girl in Edenbridge, Kent, who was killed after a tree fell on a mobile home.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. The British Red Cross Society, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered in England and Wales (220949), Scotland (SC037738) and Isle of Man (0752).
Volunteers and staff from the British Red Cross have supported more than two hundred people at a rest centre in Bridgwater and reached hundreds more by 4x4 to carry out welfare checks and deliver vital supplies throughout the flood-hit Somerset Levels.
The charity is working in partnership with local authorities, the emergency services and others in the voluntary sector to help with transport, shopping, welfare checks and fuel deliveries, and is even using its international Unimog 4x4 vehicle to do refuse collections from areas that are completely cut off by flood water. On Thursday volunteers were using the Unimog and 4x4 vehicles in Moorland, Muchelney, Thorney and Burrowbridge where they have now helped around 250 people. Red Cross volunteers are also providing first aid, emotional support and signposting to other agencies at a rest centre in Bridgwater and this was busy on Saturday, supporting 72 people from 36 households. Salt Moor resident Mark Carpenter, 50, and his 84-year-old father William, live in a cottage adjoining Salt Moor pumping station in Somerset and gratefully received support from the Red Cross when they ran out of supplies. Red Cross senior service manager for emergency response Joanna Tennant says: “We are now into week four of our response to the flooding on the Somerset levels and I’m so impressed by our staff and volunteers for the way they’re handling this long-running operation. Please find attached photographs of Mark Carpenter from Salt Moor, Somerset, with Red Cross staff members Jamie Piriou and Ella Coates.
The Red Cross’s 7.5 tonne 4x4 Unimog vehicle is more commonly used to deliver international aid in mountainous or flooded terrain. The Red Cross is part of a multi-agency response to the flooding in Somerset which includes the following partners; Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, South Somerset District Council, the emergency services including fire, ambulance and police, NHS and Public Health England, Department for Communities and Local Government, Bristol Water and Wessex Water, Western Power Distribution, the Environment Agency, The Met Office and partners from the voluntary sector. Severe weather can strike quickly and cause major disruption to our homes, families and communities. Read through our emergency plan for families (PDF), so your household knows what to do in a crisis.
It’s a good idea to write down the telephone number of someone you can call in an emergency, in case you lose access to your mobile or the internet.
Upload password-protected copies of key documents, such as insurance papers and identification documents, to a backup or cloud drive – secured in a remote location. On your smartphone, download a flashlight app and get bookmarks and apps for all the websites you use regularly: including weather alerts, evacuation routes and first aid training. Check weather, news and travel reports – the closer to the time you leave, the better.
The British Red Cross has sent a team of public-health aid workers and equipment to help thousands of people in Nepal. The equipment is part of a 'mass sanitation module', which provides help for 20,000 people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. The kit also includes tents, camp beds, mattresses, sleeping bags and kitchen kits to allow the Red Cross staff to remain self-sufficient for up to a month - reducing the burden on local resources. With the country at a standstill and snow virtually reaching up to people’s chins in some areas, it’s been a busy week for Red Cross emergency responders. In slippery Bristol, where half the population seems to have ended up on its collective backside, demand for loaned wheelchairs from our medical equipment service has soared. Elsewhere in the country, emergency response volunteer teams in the Red Cross’ fleet of Land Rover 4×4 vehicles have also been giving priceless help to ambulance services by driving headlong into countrified and weather-beaten areas to collect patients or transport care workers.
Mark brings you all the latest stories, news and quirky details about the Red Cross' work in the UK.

With snow continuing to fall across the UK, Red Cross volunteers are using their 4x4 vehicles to help people affected by the severe weather. The call for help came after several hours of torrential rain dramatically raised the level of the River Deveron, which flows past the Meadows care home in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.
With the river in imminent danger of bursting its banks, volunteers in four Red Cross vehicles – including an ambulance and specially-equipped 4X4 Land Rover – raced to the scene.
Ian Rideout, operations director, said: “We got a call from the care home this afternoon and immediately deployed our emergency response teams to carry out the evacuation. Elsewhere, Red Cross swift water rescue teams were put on alert as almost a month’s worth of rain fell in just a few hours throughout the North East of Scotland. Last year, the Red Cross swift water rescue teams – based at Inverness – were called out to support the emergency services when floods devastated the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth.
A British Red Cross support team was sent to help Britons affected by the terrorist attacks in Brussels.
Three rest centres have been set up in the towns of Keswick, Appleby and Kendal in Cumbria. David Hallows, emergency response manager for North Wales said: "Our emergency response teams are poised to respond across the country.
For live weather alerts and advice on staying safe in severe weather download our free emergency app.
As parts of Britain continue to be hit by serious flooding this week, the Red Cross is braving the elements to offer support. On Monday (11 June), more than 30 basement flats on the seafront in Littlehampton, West Sussex had to be evacuated after flooding. A team of seven emergency response volunteers – equipped with five vehicles – helped transport around 40 people to a nearby rest centre, then provided temporary shelter, hot drinks and advice on contacting insurers and other helpful agencies. As they moved residents to a rest centre in Machynlleth, the fire service used heavy duty pumping equipment to lower the water level. Also at the weekend, Hywel Dda Health Board asked volunteers to provide emotional support at a hospital in Aberystwyth for those who had been forced to flee their homes. A team of seven volunteers – equipped with 4x4 vehicles – had to negotiate very heavy rain and numerous closed roads to reach their destination.
Alwyn Jones, emergency response co-ordinator, said: “Our volunteers were forced to turn back three times owing to impassable roads and showed dogged determination to finally get to the hospital.
The British Red Cross event first aid teams are supporting around 12,000 runners in the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. Jude’s after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day falls on Monday - which caused transport disruptions and power outages.
We’re urging people to call in on friends, neighbours and relatives, especially the elderly, to see if they need help staying warm or getting provisions,” he added.
In East Sussex, Red Cross volunteers provided support to the search and rescue team looking for a 14-year-old boy swept out to sea at Newhaven yesterday. On Friday, the Red Cross helped with evacuations of residents from properties in North Newton and Saturday was a very busy day with three double crewed vehicles being used for the delivery of groceries and heating oil, welfare checks on vulnerable people and support to the village of Oath, which was without power. The total number of people seeking help from the Red Cross since the rest centre opened is 224. Red Cross staff members Jamie Piriou and Ella Coates drove their 4x4 Land Rover as close as they could safely get to Mark and William’s home and then Mark walked half a mile along the riverbank to meet them.
The Unimog vehicle was sent from the charity’s international warehouse in Warmley, Bristol. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities.
If you live in London, the South East of England or the East of England, sign up for UK Power Network’s priority service, as they can help. People are living in close proximity so there is a high risk of health epidemics such as cholera.

The UK team of four will be joined by an additional hygiene unit from the Spanish Red Cross, and together they will reach over 40,000 people in need. You guessed it: they both refresh the parts – of the country, that is – that other beers, or people, cannot reach. But they have responded valiantly and, just as importantly, have had the right equipment for the job. But how could our brave volunteers hope to reach said injured citizens – 60 of them – who were scattered throughout inaccessible and often rural areas? Essentially a life-sized Tonka toy, the Unimog has been monstering its way around normally impassable roads today and making sure that our wheelchairs reach all those poor souls nursing broken and fractured lower limbs. No wonder one ambulance spokesman referred to our volunteers as a ‘vital resource in reaching as many people as possible to offer life-saving first aid’. I like to be part of at least one of those group who do the rescuing or giving goods for those people who really need help.
They transferred one elderly resident to a local hospital and transported the others to emergency rest centres in the area.
Twenty specially trained volunteers, crewing three rescue boats, were put on standby and a further 20 volunteers were ready to support families and individuals in the event of a large-scale evacuation. In Portsoy, Banffshire, houses, schools and a residential care home were evacuated as Loch Soy overflowed, causing widespread flooding. We immediately called out some of our local volunteers to set up the rest centre and prepare to look after people who had been forced to evacuate their homes by the flood threat.
The British Red Cross has trained and skilled volunteers available to respond at short notice to any situation that unfolds over the next 24 hours.
On Saturday (9 June), volunteers raced to help with the immediate evacuation of homes in Pennal, North Wales, after cracks were observed in a reservoir retaining wall above the village.
The charity’s teams were on hand to support ambulance services, transport hospital patients and help stranded travellers.
Volunteers have been helping a family in Hastings who lost the roof of their caravan in the storm. Volunteers have recently been handing out hygiene kits at the centre, containing toiletries such as toothbrushes and shaving kits and these have been well-received. They have a dedicated phone number, provide regular updates and, if necessary, will ask British Red Cross volunteers to visit. The Red Cross teams have also provided 75 blankets to a rest centre in Peacehaven and deployed volunteers to a nursing home in St Leonards-on-Sea. And it will be invaluable during the current severe weather crisis because it can work in incredibly difficult conditions and reach places other vehicles can't and can carry about two and a half tons of cargo.
Some 70 volunteers across Kent and Sussex have made themselves available to provide support. They climbed over three or four fences and got completely covered in mud but seemed to love every minute of it. I can’t thank them enough.”Meanwhile the Red Cross fire and emergency support teams also supported around ten families throughout Somerset, Devon and Cornwall affected by weather-related power outages at the weekend, at the request of Western Power Distribution. Travel chaos prevented thousands from reaching work across Britain this morning and 220,000 homes were without electricity, while a reported 200 trees were felled as a result of the storm.

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