A new £500,000 fund has been set up to help east Suffolk communities caught up in future emergencies, such as weather events similar to Storm Babet in October.

East Suffolk Council has created the Resilience and Emergency Response Fund (RERF) in response to the severe disruption caused by Babet, which hit the county with heavy rain on October 20 and caused flooding in Framlingham, where roads and homes were inundated with water.

In April, a number of homeowners in the town had still not returned to their properties, while some were still awaiting insurance pay outs.

READ MORE: List of actions to stop repeat of Storm Babet in Framlingham

The RERF is set to provide funding for temporary accommodation for up to 48 hours, disposal costs for damaged furniture, carpets or flooring and support for voluntary groups to assist and co-ordinate recovery activities.

Funding for a 'Resilience Reserve' was established in the council's budget in February and now the council's cabinet has set up the RERF to manage the £500,000 funding pot.

Following Babet, the council set up the East Suffolk Flood Recovery Group, which provided a physical presence in Framlingham and Wickham Market to assist and deal with residents' enquiries and clean up in the aftermath.

READ MORE: Residents in Framlingham and Debenham still wait for money

Although the government's flood recovery framework provided longer-term grants, a gap was identified to cover immediate and urgent needs, such as providing skips to remove damaged household items and to help cover costs for displaced people.

Vince Langdon-Morris, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for resources and value for money, said: “The severe disruption and flooding caused by Storm Babet last October has had a significant and ongoing impact on the lives and livelihoods of many east Suffolk residents.

"In our district alone, 320 properties were directly impacted by the storm.

READ MORE: Meeting in Framlingham to discuss Storm Babet response

“Winter storms are predicted to increase in frequency and severity as we come to terms with the effects and impacts of ongoing climate change.

“As much as we cannot sit back and allow climate change to irreversibly worsen, we must try and support communities affected by its ongoing impacts, including flooding from rising sea levels, prolonged rainfall and intense storms.

“This fund can bring significant relief for our residents at a time of need and empower our district council to act quickly.

"But, importantly, the RERF is a short-term resource and is in no way a replacement for central government support.”

READ MORE: Framlingham news

Framlingham charity Hour Community has been helping to support residents in the town who were affected by Storm Babet, including setting up the Framlingham Flood Appeal to raise money to replace possessions lost during the flooding.

East Anglian Daily Times: Nick Corke, of Framlingham's Hour CommunityNick Corke, of Framlingham's Hour Community (Image: Contributed)

Of the RERF, the charity's chief executive Nick Corke said: "I think East Suffolk Council have responded very quickly and responsibly and it is reassuring to know that there is a fund in place that we can call on should we find ourselves in a similar situation in the future.

"The question that needs asking now is, what funding will be made available by the government to communities affected by the flooding to help them mitigate against future events?”