Emergency planning

Emergency planning is the general term for the work that the government, the emergency services, the health services and the local authority all do in preparing the contingency plans and procedures for dealing with any emergency that might affect large numbers of people.

In this section:

What does the council do?

Notification of an emergency will usually come from the emergency services, but in some cases, the council may declare a major incident.

Our on-call duty Emergency Response Officer (ERO) will be notified either by switchboard or by one or more of the emergency services. The ERO will assess the requirements of the incident and may be requested to attend the scene as the Local Authority Liaison Officer (LALO). Additionally, the emergency services may request other council services to assist in the response to the major incident, emergency event or situation.

We have a critical role in civil protection, as there are a wide range of functions that are likely to be called upon in support of the emergency services during emergency response and recovery.

This support includes public health functions carried out by the Director of Public Health. We are one of the main bodies representing the community in emergency response and recovery.

In collaboration and coordination with partner agencies and organisations we will:

  • provide immediate shelter and welfare for survivors not requiring medical support and their families and friends via evacuation, rest, humanitarian and other centres in order to meet their immediate-to-short- term needs
  • provide medium to longer-term welfare of survivors and residents (for example, social services support and financial assistance which may be generated from appeal funds and also provide helplines which answer the public's questions as a one stop shop). We have a large role in addressing community needs via drop-in centres and organising anniversaries and memorials as part of the recovery effort. 
  • provide investigating and enforcement officers
  • facilitate the inspection of dangerous structures to ensure that they are safe for emergency personnel to enter
  • clean up of pollution and facilitate the remediation and reoccupation of sites or areas affected by an emergency
  • liaise with the coroner's office to provide emergency mortuary capacity in the event that existing mortuary provision is exceeded
  • coordinate the activities of the various voluntary sector agencies involved, and spontaneous volunteers
  • may provide catering facilities, toilets and rest-rooms for use by all agencies in one place, for the welfare of emergency response personnel in the event of a protracted emergency. This will depend on the circumstances and available premises
  • lead the recovery effort, which is likely to carry on for a considerable time and is likely to involve many organisations who are not ordinarily involved in, or used to the speed and scale of the recovery effort. We may also put in place arrangements for supporting communities to become more resilient to the risks they face.

Read our  Corporate Emergency Response Plan (PDF) [672KB] for more information.

Page last updated: 23 Feb 2023