999 fails to stay afloat in Cumbria.

25th November 2009

We are renowned for having the most gloomy and miserable weather in the world. The English sky seems to have a permanent grey duvet hovered above its head and provides the English with the perfect conversation starter.

How many times have you heard these sentences?

“Beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“Can you believe all of this rain we’ve been having?”
“It looks like it’s going to snow.”
“It sure would be nice to be in Hawaii right about now.”
“I hear they’re calling for thunderstorms all weekend.”
“How about this weather?”

However, the British weather this month has taken a big turn for the worst. The small drizzle that we are all used to, day in, day out, has suddenly turned into a huge downpour.

The worst hit with this weather is Cockermouth, Cumbria. The small Cumbrian town was subject to the worst of the weather and very quickly became flooded, ruining local businesses, homes, cars and people’s lives.

Understandably, the emergency services received a huge amount of calls and their 999-telephone service subsequently collapsed. Anyone who wanted to get hold of the services had no way of doing so.

The emergency services have released a new telephone number for anyone who needs to get in contact with them: 0845 3300247. Not quite as snappy as 999, is it?

It lead to me think. In this situation, what would be the best possible number to give out, bearing in mind 0845 number cost quite a lot to call? The new 0333 numbers spring to mind as they are free to call from a mobile and landline. The majority of emergencies are away from home.

0333 333 333 333 is available to buy, offering the memorability of the current 999 number as well as the free to call access. I think it’s definitely something the emergency services should have as a backup.