The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 defines an emergency as:
- An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare;
- An event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment; or
- War, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to security.
Damage to human welfare involves causes or may cause one or more of the following:-
- Loss of human life
- Human illness or injury
- Damage to property
- Disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel
- Disruption of a system of communication
- Disruption of facilities for transport
- Disruption of service relating to health.
Damage to the environment involves causes or may cause:
- Contamination of land, water or air with biological, chemical or radioactive matter
- Disruption of destruction of plant life or animal life.
What is a Major Incident?
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 defines a Major Incident as any Emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or more emergency responders and meets one of the following two criteria:
- The emergency is likely to seriously obstruct the organisation in the performance of its functions, or
- It is likely that the organisation;
- would consider it necessary or desirable to take action to prevent the emergency, to reduce, control or mitigate its effects or otherwise in connection with it and
- would be unable to take that action without changing the deployment of resources or acquiring additional resources.
A Major Incident may require the:-
- The initial treatment, rescue and transport of a large number of casualties.
- The handling of a large number of enquiries likely to be generated both from the public and the news media usually to the Police.
- The large scale deployment of the combined resources of the Emergency Services.
- The mobilisation and organisation of the Emergency Services and supporting organisations, e.g. Local Authority, to cater for the threat of death, serious injury or homelessness to a large number of people.
The guidance also clarifies that the words “Incident‟ and “Emergency‟ are one and the same and are interchangeable.
- Current emergencies
- Our role before, during and after an emergency
- How you can prepare for an emergency
- Flooding and extreme weather
- Safer Communities Torbay
- Preventing violent extremism and terrorism
- Advice on business continuity
- Bonfire Night safety advice
- Halloween safety advice
- Festive safety advice
- Report a crime or concern
- Fire safety advice