Emergencies

Major incidents can take many forms, for example:

  • Severe weather conditions and flooding
  • Disruptions to supplies and services
  • Transport crashes
  • Terrorist acts

Whatever shape the incident takes, people would look to the City Council for support.

The lead agency in the event of a major civil emergency will be one of the emergency services.

  • The Police will be responsible for co-ordination at the scene and co-ordinating the overall response effort.
  • The Fire and Rescue Service will be responsible for fire fighting, rescue and associated activities.
  • The Ambulance Services will be responsible for casualties.
  • In an emergency where public health issues may be a factor, particularly where there is significant pollution or where there are significant levels of causalities, the public health service will be alerted.

The City Council may sometimes be the lead agency in appropriate situations, for example, localised flooding and disaster recovery.

However, in some incidents the emergency services may request support and so Winchester City Council's Emergency Response Plan would be put into action. The services that the City Council might provide include temporary accommodation in the event of an evacuation, environmental health expertise, building control for dangerous structures and traffic and engineering services.

The City Council has an Emergency Response Plan and a dedicated Emergency Operations Centre that can be utilised at any time to coordinate its response to an emergency. It also has plans to provide Prepared Rest Centres in the event of the need for large scale evacuation within the District. There are a number of Town and Parish Councils within the District that are also preparing their own Emergency Plans for their communities.

Hampshire County Council's Emergency Planning Unit provides expertise to support the emergency services and the City Council and arranges for external resources to be made available. It is also the contact for central government departments and public bodies which may be involved in an emergency.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 was introduced to improve the UK's ability to deal with the consequences of major disruptive incidents and deliver a single framework for civil protection in the UK.

One of the requirements of the Act was to produce a Community Risk Register, which is compiled following a risk assessment of the likelihood of an event occurring in the City Council's area and will lead to a plan of how to respond to all hazards and particularly those providing the highest risk. A copy of the Community Risk Register can be viewed on the Hampshire County Council website from the link below.

There is also a need to provide Business Continuity Management for the City Council itself and to provide advice for the general community. Business Continuity is the degree to which an organisation is able to carry on providing its services following a disruption. A guidance note on preparing Business Continuity Plans for business and voluntary organisations is set out below.