The Civil Contingencies Act places a legal obligation on Local Authorities to support the emergency services in a major incident.
A disaster can occur unexpectedly, anywhere, at any time and can take many forms. Fortunately large disasters happen very infrequently. However, when a major incident does occur the size means that special arrangements are needed to help organisations work together and respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What is a major incident/emergency?
The Civil Contingencies Act defines an emergency as ‘an event or situation, which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK’. Some examples of major emergencies include:
- Natural disasters such as flooding, storms
- Pollution such as chemical spillages, toxic gases
- War or terrorism
- Large scale transport accidents
- Any incident which is a threat to the welfare of the community
Local Authority Response
The Council plays an important role in the recovery phase assisting in the restoration of normality to an area as quickly as possible by:
- Involving the relevant personnel
- Handling enquiries from both the public and media
- Liaising with emergency services and supporting organisations, to cater for the threat of death, serious injury or homelessness to a large number of people.
Any response to a major emergency has to have a combined and coordinated approach with the common aim of saving and protecting life, containing the emergency and restoring the situation to normality. Local Authority planning is carried out in close cooperation with the emergency services, voluntary agencies, utilities, central government departments, military and many other organisations.
We work closely in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council Civil Protection Unit to ensure that we have sufficient plans in place to respond effectively to an emergency.
Useful Information, websites and emergency advice for you at home
Gloucestershire County Council - Civil Protection Unit assist district councils in planning for and responding to emergencies and may be able to provide valuable information.
The Community Risk Register for Gloucestershire and the recently revised Major Incident Plan (MIP) are available on the Local Resilience Forum website.
The Environment Agency provide flood warnings for all areas across the UK.
See further Flood Advice and Information for the Forest of Dean District.
For information on how to look after yourself and others during hot weather please download the NHS Heatwave Leaflet.
If you have any questions or would like further information on Emergency Planning issues, please contact the Corporate Support Team by email or on 01594 812607.