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About emergency planning

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.

Rest centres

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,
  • RVS,
  • 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.

Pet welfare

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
  • Bowls
  • 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. Whilst these may be ok left at home ensure that they have a supply of food and water and consider moving them under cover.

If 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.

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:

This page was last updated: 22 August 2017

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