What is Emergency Planning?
As defined by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA), an emergency is an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare, the environment or an act of war or terrorism that threatens serious damage to UK security. The role of emergency planning is to ensure when such instances occur, the Council is fully prepared to respond, mitigating the impacts and supporting the community affected.
The CCA splits emergency responders into two categories, dependent on their involvement in emergency planning and response:
- Category 1 responders (e.g. local authorities, emergency services and environment agency) are involved in the core emergency planning and response
- Category 2 responders (e.g. utilities companies and transport companies) are heavily involved when the emergency affects their sector
What duties do Sutton Council have as a local authority?
Under the CCA Sutton Council, as a Category 1 responder, has a number of statutory duties:
- to assess the local risks in Sutton that need to be planned for
- to develop and maintain emergency plans and business continuity plans, to respond to incidents within Sutton
- to warn, inform and advise the public before, during and after emergencies have occurred
- to share information and cooperate with other agencies, ensuring the effective management of emergencies and coordination of planning
- to provide business continuity advice and support to local businesses and voluntary organisations
What risks are there in Sutton?
Part of Sutton Council's role under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) is to regularly assess risks in the Borough that could cause harm to our residents or the environment. This work is undertaken with other Category 1 and 2 agencies in the Borough Resilience Forum (BRF) and supported by the London Risk Advisory Group (LRAG). The LRAG identifies all risks within London, scoring the risks on their likelihood to occur and the impact the risk could have.
At the local level within Sutton, the Council and members of the BRF discuss the LRAG risks and whether the risk is applicable to the borough. The risks that are deemed applicable are reviewed and relevant plans and preparations are made to mitigate the impacts that could be generated and to support the community during the emergency.
What can Sutton Council do in an emergency?
Emergencies can happen at any time, and the Council has the following arrangements in place to support our communities and other responding agencies:
- have experienced officers on duty 24/7 to respond to incidents
- have the capability to activate an emergency control centre to co-ordinate the Council response
- establish rest centres to provide temporary shelter and assistance to displaced communities
- arrange emergency transport
- provide information, advice and support to the public during emergencies through our corporate website, social media and local radio
- continue to provide critical Council services to the public in the event of an emergency occurring
- contract services to mitigate the impacts of an emergency
- support the community to recover from the emergency