Karen Adam MSP pays homage to everyone who took the time to look out for their vulnerable neighbours during the storms.

We live in challenging times, do we not? I am reminded that storms in Macbeth are reminiscent of storms elsewhere, and our crazy weather feels well suited to the thunderbolts firing off at Westminster.

By Karen Adam MSP
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 9:30 am
Karen applauds those who helped others during the recent storms.
Karen applauds those who helped others during the recent storms.

As we dusted ourselves down from Arwen and Barra, so along come Malik and Corrie, and I launched once more into crisis mode, hastily inputting updates from SSEN, the Met office and the Council, signposting constituents and urging those who could see my updates to alert their neighbours.

Once again I was contacted by vulnerable constituents who were not prepared and could not be, due to life circumstances.

As the Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive rightly stated, “people looking after one another is the real asset that we have.”

Trees and forestry land in the Shire were decimated by the storm

My thanks go out again to all those of you who are the people who have done all that you could to make a terrible situation a little bit better for those most in need. I am lucky to have a professional team who, along with many others, gave up their time over a weekend and volunteered to go the extra mile.

Being a conduit and connecting temporary aid stations and food vans with communities in need at a time when the cumulative impact of storm upon storm compounded the restoration challenge, is a moment to treasure and that can be rare in politics.

There is talk of workshops to examine lessons learnt, but at the heart has to be a recognition of poor communication regarding power cuts, better data collection and updates that are meaningful.

As the Deputy First Minister stated after the latest of storms and reflecting on progress since Arwen, “work had been put in place to make sure Scotland was better prepared”.

We must improve our resilience plans and use the lived experience of our communities as part of the review process.

Faced with the climate crisis, extreme weather events will sadly become all the more common in the future. Our coastal communities face a unique pressure as well – that of coastal erosion as a consequence of storm activity. There will undoubtedly be more trouble ahead but I will continue to do everything I can to ensure local resilience and response efforts become consistent and robust.