Stroud District Council has a Civil Contingency Unit which draws up, maintains and reviews arrangements for dealing with major incidents.
It co-ordinates responses across the council, and works closely with the county's emergency services to ensure that the right people with the right skills are well-briefed and ready to react.
Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. Small-scale incidents occur frequently and are dealt with effectively by the emergency services. We also help organise events and look after children's play areas.
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It seems that not a week can go by without the news reporting that a community has been affected by an emergency of one type or another. Recommendation 70 from Sir Michael Pitt’s report following the 2007 floods is:- The Government should establish a programme to support and encourage individuals and communities to be better prepared and more self-reliant during emergencies, allowing the authorities to focus on those areas and people in greatest need.
This is something that is purely a recommendation for communities/parishes/towns and there is no legal requirement for any parish, town or community to write a plan.
By having a plan in place it is hoped that communities will be able to respond to emergencies when they occur in their area and recover quicker and fully. Local knowledge is invaluable when dealing with an emergency by having a written plan communities will be able to assist emergency services direct assistance where it is required most.
Any community group can develop a plan, however most Parish or Town Councils take this task on as they represent all of the residents of an area and may have access to some funds.
If you are interest in completing a plan below is a template plan what you may find useful. If you require any further information please contact Nikki Humphries on 01453 754455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Community risk register
A community risk register has been developed to identify the main hazards in the area:
In order to plan for and protect against emergency situations, we have looked carefully at the risks present within the district.
Information on risks such as major roads and rivers liable to flood has been provided to the County Council and forms part of the Gloucestershire Community Risk Register . The Risk Register is a record of all known risks within the County.
The Gloucestershire Community Risk Register has been created to re-assure people and communities in Gloucestershire that an assessment of potential hazards has been made or considered. Also to satisfy the requirements outlined in the Civil Contingencies Act, 2004 and its associated statutory guidance ( Emergency Preparedness) which can be assessed through the UK Resilience website. The Gloucestershire Community Risk Register will continue to be updated when required and reviewed on an annual basis.
www.gloucestershireprepared.co.uk/risk-assessments - Gloucestershire Community Risk Register.
What is an emergency?
Emergency is defined in Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 as:
"An 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 ."
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 places responsibilities on the Council to make plans, train to respond to emergencies and to ensure the Council can continue to operate its essential services in an emergency.
It is when a more disastrous event takes place that is beyond the capacity of the emergency services to deal with unaided that the special arrangements are put in place and local authorities and other organisations help to support the emergency services in their difficult task.
The generic plan emergency plan that is used throughout the County are available to view below. More detailed plans specifically for Stroud are confidential.
www.gloucestershireprepared.co.uk - Emergency planning within Gloucestershire
www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ukresilience - Emergency planning arrangements and legislation
The Civil Contingencies Unit has a number of pre-identified buildings as “Rest Centres” for use during incidents.
They are used for residents who have been evacuated from their homes and can be used for 24 -48 hours. After this time it is hoped that temporary accommodation will be found by the District Council.
The Rest Centre is staffed in conjunction with the premises staff and by members of voluntary organisations, such as:
- British Red Cross,
- St John Ambulance,
- The Salvation Army,
- RAYNET (Radio Amateurs Emergency Network).
The administration and running of the Rest Centre is conducted by specially trained volunteers who manage the care and welfare of those who have been evacuated.
The generic guide to setting up and running a rest centre that is used throughout the County is available to view below. More detailed plans specifically for Stroud are confidential.
- Generic rest centre plan - PDF
If you are evacuated in an emergency you must make arrangement for your pets. The best way to ensure your pet is safe is to agree with friends or family in advance that you will take in each others pets should an emergency occur. Ensure that this pet sitter does not live in the immediate area.
Prepare a pet emergency kit including:
- Carrier for each pet
- Litter tray and litter
- Tinned or dried food
- A photograph of your pet for identification purposes.
- Lead, collar and identity disk
- Any medication your pet needs
- If you have advance warning of an evacuation, eg, due to flooding, try to place your pets somewhere safe such as a local cattery or boarding kennels.
Don't forget about outside pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs etc. Whilst these may be ok left at home ensure that they have a supply of food and water and consider moving them under cover.
f you are unable to re-locate your pet, bring it with you to the Local Authority Rest Centre. If the evacuation is only for a few hours your pet will be able to remain with you, however if an overnight stay is required we will endeavour to help you find suitable accommodation for your pet with a boarding kennel or vet.
- Pet preparedness plan - PDF
Family emergency plan
Make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency. Before an emergency happens, sit down together and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency. Complete our handy family plan document below:
- Family plan document - PDF
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires Category 1 responders (which the Council is) to have plans in place that will ensure that they are able to continue to provide services to those they serve even during a period of disruption. This relates not only to providing a response to an incident but also continuing to provide their day to day services as far as is 'reasonably practicable'. The Civil Contingencies Act also requires Local Authorities to provide business continuity advice to businesses and voluntary agencies
Why do you need a Business Continuity Plan?
No one wants to imagine that their business will suffer any damage or loss and hopefully this will be the case but planning for such an eventuality will help you recover quickly if the unthinkable does happen
Did you know?
- 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close down within 18 months
- 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster go out of business within 2 years
- Only 47% of organisations have a specific Business Continuity Plan in place
- 94% of organisations who have invoked their Business Continuity Plan agreed that they had significantly reduced the impact of disruption
- 43% of organizations over the past year were disrupted by loss of IT, while over 1 in 3 experienced loss of people (35%). 30% experienced loss of telecommunications.
Source: Chartered Management Institute Business Continuity Survey
What should you plan for?
There are many events that can cause disruption to a business. There are a few examples listed below, however this is not exhaustive as there may be something that is specific to your business.
- Large scale temporary absence of staff
- Permanent on long term loss of staff
- Denial of site or geographical area
- Loss of mains electricity or gas
- Disruption to transport
- Loss of mains water and sewerage
- Loss of availability of oil and fuel
- Loss of electronic communications
Useful Supporting Documents
- Template Business Continuity Plan - PDF 71 KB
- Business Continuity Leaflet - PDF 450 KB
- Business Continuity Postcards - PDF
For free general advice or contact:
Nikki Humphries, Civil Contingencies Assistant
Telephone : 01453 754455
This guidance is provided as general information about planning for emergencies. It is not intended to replace detailed guidance and planning specific for your business. You should consider whether you need to obtain this.
To report a flooding incident or if you think that your area may be at risk of flooding call 01453 754473 or 01453 754459
- If you live in a flood risk area, personal safety is your top priority. You should:
- listen to local radio and Environment Agency Floodline bulletins (0845 988 1188) for up-to-date information on the flooding situation in your area;
- collect personal belongings, including insurance and bank details, and essential telephone numbers together, and keep them in a waterproof bag;
- if safe to do so, move belongings from lower floors to higher levels.
- be prepared to turn off essential supplies - gas, electricity and water - at the mains.
- listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions they give to leave a property.
- find out where you can obtain sandbags .
- If you are affected by a flood, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible after a property has been damaged. Most insurers have a 24-hour helpline. Claims staff will be able to give advice on the actions you need to take in certain circumstances, and may be able to give you the go-ahead for repair work to be commenced.
- If you have to leave your house during the flood and subsequent repair, alternative accommodation must be reasonable and in keeping with your normal lifestyle. You should always obtain your insurer's approval before incurring any costs.
- Once the flood waters have receded you should remove mud, clean and disinfect, and dry out your property. Where possible, you should seek professional advice as to how walls, furniture and carpets should be cleaned and dried out before any work is undertaken.
- It is a good idea to take photographs of the damage. Any carpets, furniture or other goods that have been removed from your home should be retained until your insurer has agreed that they can be disposed of. If it is not possible to store or retain goods, every effort should be made to contact your insurer or their representative (loss adjuster) to obtain their agreement to the disposal of goods.
- We will also collect any freezer contents spoilt by the floods, use the contact details above.
Further details about how to deal with a flood claim are available on the ABI's website.
There are up-to-date Flood Warnings and helpful guidance on dealing with flooding on the Environment Agency's website
- Claims can be made directly and free of charge to your insurer. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ) and they have to handle your claim fairly;
- Free, independent advice is available face-to-face and by telephone from the Citizen's Advice Service;
- The FSA and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are also useful places to turn to for further information on Insurance matters;
- You should think carefully before enlisting a third party's help in progressing your insurance claim;
- If you do decide to hire a third party - make sure you check how much it will cost you first as they may charge a share of any sum paid out by the insurer. You should also check that they are regulated by the FSA or are an exempt professional firm such as a law firm.
General information during and after flooding:
Where to go for help
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK . As well as regulating most types of financial services firms, one of their main aims is to protect customers of financial services, including insurance.
The Financial Services Consumer Contact Centre can answer general enquiries about financial products and services. They can also tell you if a firm is authorised and point you in the right direction if you don't know who to contact.
You can contact them by calling their Consumer Helpline (call rates may vary):
- 0845 606 1234
- Minicom/textphone - 0845 730 0104
Opening hours are between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.
Free, independent and confidential advice on financial matters such as progressing insurance claims is available from your local Citizen's Advice service . Advice is available face-to-face and by telephone.
To find your local Citizens Advice Bureau and to get details such as opening times, phone numbers, information about access to the bureau and other languages available in addition to English go to their website or phone 020 7833 2181.
Sandbag suppliers in the Stroud District
You can pick up sandbags and buy sand from the following locations:
Indoor / Outdoor Builders Merchants, Cam
Tel:01453 546820 Sat Close 6pm Sun Close 4pm
Chalford Building Supplies, Chalford
Tel: 01453 732600
Sat Close 12 noon
Moreton C. Cullimore (Gravels) Ltd. Whitminster
Tel: 01452 740326
Sat Close 11:45am
J C Aldridge & Son Ltd
10 Market Place
Gloucestershire GL13 9BB
Tel: 01453 810223
Travis Perkins, Wallbridge. (Sand and Bags)
Tel: 01453 762194
Sat Close 12 noon Sun Closed all day
Minimum 100 filled at £300.00 out of hours. Tel 01452 520853
Sat Close 5:30pm Sun Close 1pm
Alternatively Collect Free Empty Sandbags* from:
Stroud District Council, Ebley Mill, Stroud.
During office hours. Tel: 01453 766321
One Stop Shop, Wotton-Under-Edge
Monday, Wednesday mornings and Friday. Tel: 01453 521659
*You will need to arrange for these to be filled
For advice out of office hours call: 01452 532467