We have a number of responsibilities and powers, under the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act, to prepare for and respond to a major civil emergency. This includes carrying out exercises and training staff for these duties.
Responsibilities under the Act
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 sets out the duties of the different agencies involved in emergency response and breaks down these agencies into two categories; Category 1 and Category 2 responders. We, like all District and County Authorities, are classed as Category 1 responders, with the following responsibilities:
- Risk assessment.
- Emergency planning.
- Warning and informing.
- Business continuity.
- Sharing and co-operating with all other agencies.
- Promoting business continuity to small and medium businesses.
All Category 1 responders need an accurate and shared understanding of the risks they face, so their planning has a sound foundation and is proportionate to the risks.
Each County produces a community risk register which details the main major emergency related risks and helps in setting objectives, priorities and work programmes, and in allocating resources. The information in the register enables us to check the strength of our plans and resources and to identify any gaps.
You can find out more about Lincolnshire's Community Risk Register at: Lincolnshire Community Risk Register .
Our role in an emergency is to:
- Respond to emergencies in the district, working with other agencies as appropriate.
- Help the emergency services as requested.
- Arrange re-housing for anyone made homeless by the emergency .
- Provide aid to neighbouring district/ borough councils when requested.
- Restore local council services affected by the emergency.
- Liaise with other organisations as part of the combined response.
We work with the County Council's Emergency Planning Unit and the emergency services to ensure a prompt, coordinated and adequate response to an incident. We plan to ensure the people and environment of our area are protected and normality is restored as quickly as possible.
Warning and informing
All Category 1 responders have a duty to keep the community aware of emergency planning work before, during and after a major emergency. This is done through a variety of methods including local media, website information and local events.
Local authorities must have adequate measures in place to ensure that if they are affected by a major emergency themselves, they can maintain their essential services and then recover from the disruption back to normal levels of working. This process of increasing the organisation's resilience is known as Business Continuity Management.
Sharing and co-operating with all other agencies
Lincolnshire, like all counties, has a multi-agency group responsible for co-ordinating emergency management. The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum is chaired by the Chief Constable and has representatives from local government, Emergency services, the Environment Agency, health agencies, voluntary organisations, public utilities and transport. The group meets regularly and members share information on all elements of the civil contingencies act and emergency preparedness.
Business continuity promotion
Local authorities have an extra duty to promote business continuity to small and medium businesses. For further information on business continuity and how you can use it to protect your business please visit Business Continuity advice .
Keeping informed in an emergency
In the event of some major incidents the safest place to be is indoors, the advice is:
- Go indoors, close doors and windows and, unless it poses an obvious risk to the property, shut down ventilation systems. This gives good short-term protection against most hazards.
- Stay indoors until you know more about the situation and what you need to do to protect yourself further. This will depend on the nature of an incident and you could put yourself at further risk if you don't wait for further instructions.
The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum works closely with BBC Radio Lincolnshire to get accurate and timely information to the public during an emergency, so tune in to local TV and radio stations to find out more about what is happening:
- Lincs FM 102.2fm.
- BBC Radio Lincolnshire 94.9fm, 104.7fm and 1368am.
- Lite FM Peterborough 106.8fm.