HIGHLAND STORM, a live exercise to test the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service (SFFS)

RAB Consultants was commissioned by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to design, plan and deliver an exercise to test their flood warning service, including the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service (SFFS) and supporting incident response staff.

The RAB team worked closely with SEPA and Met Office staff to design a major flooding scenario affecting the Highland and Grampian regions.  Scenarios included tidal flooding on Loch Linnhe affecting Fort William, fluvial flooding across the Rivers Lochy, Nevis, Deveron and Lossie catchments with simulated evacuations initiated in Huntly.

Exercise Highland Storm was a ‘control post’ exercise managed jointly by RAB and SEPA’s Flood Forecasting and Warning and Resilience Teams.  The exercise was delivered over two days with SEPA staff operating from incident rooms in Dingwall and Perth.

The exercise tested the Floodline Warnings Direct (FWD) multi-media dissemination service, event log facility and business continuity plans.  SEPA staff responded to simulated external enquiries from the public, other responding agencies and Scottish Government.  The scale of the exercise tested SEPA’s new Severe Flood Warning procedures and internal and external communications.