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Active provincial disaster plan in Westhoek due to heavy rainfall

Active provincial contingency plan due to heavy rainfall

Due to the persistent heavy rainfall in recent weeks, the provincial emergency plan in West Flanders was activated. This posed a situation that posed serious problems for vulnerable people who depend on care and services. For example, the municipalities of Poperinge, Vleteren, Lo-Reninge and Houthulst were partially closed or difficult to reach.

We therefore contacted the Westhoek Primary Care Zone to find out what specific actions they were taking.

Building on the COVID network
To gain insight into the situation, FPS Public Health contacted the employees of the Westhoek Primary Care Zone to get an overview of the vulnerable people in the affected area. Subsequently, ELZ Westhoek and specific employee Heleen distributed a communication via direct mail to the administrative body, emergency planning officials, mayors. This message was also shared via the newsletter and LinkedIn. Thanks to the strong networks built up during the Covid crisis, this call was widely and very effectively disseminated. This resulted in concrete actions by aid workers.

Healthcare and service providers in the Westhoek region were urgently asked to identify clients or patients who were in distress due to the flooding and to pass on this information. It was also crucial that healthcare providers reported any problems related to medical care in the Westhoek Primary Care Zone, so that an adequate response could be made to this exceptional situation. The emergency response zone provided a central and permanently accessible telephone number for the care and welfare actors. They arranged for a team to go to the scene to provide the necessary assistance.

Heleen testifies: "As a Primary Care Zone, we have been able to fully address and deploy our strong network. The Covid crisis has strengthened that network, and has allowed us to work efficiently and effectively."

The Westhoek first-line zone is therefore very clear: forming a good network and working together, that's what we work on every day. In this way, we are agile and of significance in many situations.


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