Emergency Planning in the Ribble Valley
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 has defined an emergency as - 'Any 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.'
Most of us plan for emergencies, whether by installing a fire extinguisher, carrying a first aid kit or hiding a spare key somewhere. On a much larger scale, Government, Local Authorities (Councils), businesses and other large organisations also make plans for unexpected incidents. This may be carried out in order to protect an organisation, its employees and customers, the public or shareholders. It may also be that the reasons for this planning are financial, moral or legal.
The risk of a major disaster occurring in the Ribble Valley is relatively low, however these events do occur, such incidents include major transport accidents, severe weather conditions, chemical incidents, explosions, fire, flooding, fuel or power supply failure, loss of or disruption to essential services/communications, terrorist activities.
Emergency Planning is concerned with facilitating the planning, preparation and coordination of the local authorities response to a disruptive influence or major incident. We use our resources to mitigate the effects of emergencies on people, property and infrastructure. In addition to dealing with the incident, normal support and care for the local and wider community must continue throughout any disruption.
The types of emergency that require a response from the council are those which need the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services, or where there are large numbers of people involved.
Disasters demand a combined and coordinated response, linking the expertise and resources of the emergency services and local authorities, supplemented as appropriate by other organisations.
This involves working with national and regional emergency planning bodies, the emergency services, utilities and voluntary agencies to ensure that together with the council's own departments, all concerned will work together with the common goal of returning the community to normality as soon as is reasonably possible.