How we Prepare for an Emergency
We have a key role to play in planning for, responding to and recovering from an emergency.
Our response to an emergency is outlined in our emergency response plans. These plans outline our alerting process, command and control structures, key roles and responsibilities, and procedures.
In summary, these plans outline:
- how we will respond to an emergency
- plan activation
- roles and responsibilities
- welfare arrangements
- Incident Control Centre procedures
- Reception Centre information
Across Hertfordshire, there are a range of plans covering issues such as pandemic flu, mass fatalities, flooding, care of people, recovery, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive Incidents (CBRNE), Major Accident Hazard Pipelines and fuel disruption.
Our principal concern in the early stages of an emergency includes support for the emergency services and the support and care for the local and wider community. As time goes on, the emphasis switches to recovery. We will take a lead role in helping to coordinate the multi-agency management of impacts on local people, the economy, environment and infrastructure.
We will deploy our resources and services in response to an incident by providing emergency shelter, safety of structures, temporary rehousing and environmental health.
We also have business continuity arrangements to ensure we can still provide critical services during and following any major emergency.
Emergency planning involves a number of activities, the first of which aims to identify risk. This risk assessment phase is necessary to prioritise for the planning stage. Risk assessment data is used to create a risk profile for the county, presented in the form of a Community Risk Register. In liaison with the local emergency services, we conduct and provide Community Risk information for any key industrial, commercial or infrastructure site in Stevenage.
Ready for Anything at Herts County Council includes useful tips, advice and contact information.
Once the risks have been identified, planning can begin. Planning provides the response framework and is an ongoing process which requires constant development as risk assessments highlight new or changing threats and lessons are learnt through exercises or experience.
Types of risk that are of interest to local emergency planners are transport infrastructure (road and rail), areas with large numbers of people such as town centres and shopping centres, severe weather such as storms, snow, flooding and key sites.
Internal emergency procedures are in place to ensure that, should an incident occur, an Incident Management Team and Business Recovery Team can be established to ensure that both the demands of the incident and the demands of continuing normal service under unusual circumstances can be met.
We have Resilience Officers responsible for the oversight of emergency planning, business continuity and risk assessment. We also work in partnership with a dedicated County Council Resilience officer which supports and enhances emergency preparedness.
Senior officers are trained and take part in exercises to enable them to respond effectively to emergencies. There is also a dedicated team of staff who have volunteered for a number of emergency roles, and they are trained and attend exercises to ensure they are competent in carrying out their emergency duties. These roles include running an emergency rest centre, operating our incident control centre or supporting key officers at the scene or multi-agency meeting.
Our emergency planning officer may be contacted during normal office on 01438 242966.
Contact in an emergency
During a major incident, the latest emergency information will be posted on our website and updated regularly. Our Customer Services Team, who can be contacted on 01438 242242, will also be able to provide information by telephone
The out-of-hours emergency contact number is 01438 314963. However, please do remember that the emergency services or utility company should be the first call in an emergency that requires their services.