About the Emergency Planning Team
What is Emergency Planning?
Emergencies happen frequently – traffic incidents, fires, etc. – but the Emergency Planning Team are not necessarily always involved. We step in to assist when events happen that are beyond the capacity of the emergency services to deal with unaided and we co-ordinate the local authority response. We can help with things like specialist equipment, evacuation, housing and emergency feeding, and extra staff. We can’t always provide the resource ourselves, but generally ‘we know someone who can’.
Emergency Planning is a means of assessing the threats and risks to Bath & North East Somerset Council and putting plans in place to respond to an incident and assist in the recovery as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act (2004).
The Act focuses on emergency preparedness but its requirements should be seen in the context of Integrated Emergency Management of which the following six activities are fundamental to an integrated approach:
- Recovery management
What the Emergency Planning Team do
The response to any major incident will inevitably be multi-agency and could involve the Emergency Services, Public Services, Military, Voluntary Agencies, Industry, Local Authority and a host of other organisations within the public and private sector.
Our role is to provide support to the Emergency Services, co-ordinate the resources required from the Local Authority and take the lead in recovery management in facilitating the rehabilitation of the community and restoration of the environment.
The success of the response will depend to a great degree on how we all work together at times of extreme pressure. We therefore form good relationships across the board and continually plan, train, exercise, consult and liaise to ensure the most appropriate, co-ordinated and effective response to any incident is provided.
The Emergency Planning Team provides a Duty Officer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who is responsible for activating key Council staff - advising them of appropriate measures to take, assisting throughout the incident and into the recovery phase.
Whatever the incident, the role of the Council is always to provide support and care to the community and the environment, and to get things back to normality as soon as possible.
What type of incidents are Emergency Planning involved in?
- Adverse weather (heat/cold/snow etc.)
- Suspect packages/Explosive devices
- Oil/Chemical/Diesel spills
- Asbestos incidents
- Fuel supply disruption
- Evacuation of people from their homes
How we can help
We can help in a variety of ways:
- Open our Emergency Control Room
- Co-ordinate the Local Authority and Voluntary Sector response
- Liaise with outside agencies i.e. Emergency Services, utilities, military etc.
- Provide support to the Emergency Services
- Arrange for rest centres to be opened, equipped and staffed
- Arrange for the provision of food and welfare support within the rest centre
- Organise contact with a Translation Service if required
- Organise extra communication links
- Organise transport
- Provide information to the public and set up help-lines, if required
- Responding to the press and opening a Media Briefing Centre, if necessary
- Organise the setting up of a Temporary Mortuary
The Emergency Planning Team are a good information source and can offer a wide range of advice and guidance.
Partnership Working – Strengthening Resilience
The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and associated guidance introduced the concept of Local Resilience Forums (LRF’s). This is the principal mechanism for multi-agency cooperation under The Act and is based on each Police Force area.
The purpose of the LRF is to ensure effective delivery of duties under The Act that need to be developed in a multi-agency environment. In particular, the LRF process should deliver:
- The compilation of agreed risk profiles for the area, through a Community Risk Register.
- A systematic, planned and co-ordinated approach to encourage Category 1 responders, according to their functions, to address all aspects of policy in relation to:
- Planning for emergencies
- Planning for business continuity management
- Publishing information about risk assessment and plans
- Arrangements to warn and inform the public, and
- Other aspects of the civil protection duty, including promotion of business continuity management by local authorities, support and preparation by all of multi-agency plans and other documents, and the coordination of multi-agency exercises and training events.
Plans produced by Emergency Planning
The Emergency Planning Team has produced plans to cater for a number of different emergency situations. These are regularly maintained exercised and updated by the team to ensure that Council staff can respond effectively to a range of incidents, and that the response is co-ordinated with that of the Emergency Services and other agencies.
We also hold copies of plans produced by other Bath & North East Somerset Council departments and agencies which could be of use in an emergency.