We have a small Emergency Planning team whose role is to coordinate our statutory duties to ensure that, in the event of a major incident, we are able to support the emergencies services and help reduce, control or mitigate its impact.

Statutory Duties

We are classified as Category 1 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act, 2004. Category 1 responders are at the core of the response to most emergencies and are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. As a Category 1 responder, we have a statutory duty to:

  • Assess local risks and use this to inform emergency planning;
  • Put in place emergency plans;
  • Put in place Business Continuity Management arrangements;
  • Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;
  • Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;
  • Co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency; and
  • Provide information and advice to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment is a key first step in planning and preparing for emergencies. Information on hazards and threats in the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly area can be found in the Community Risk Register.

Emergency Plans

One of the ways that we prepare for emergencies is to maintain a generic emergency response and recovery plan to cover various types of emergency. We also prepare specific plans for hazards or threats such as pandemic influenza and flooding which have been identified as 'Very High' risks on the Community Risk Register.

Our Emergency Plans help us to coordinate the response to emergencies. They contain information on:

  • Local Hazards and Threats
  • Organisational Roles and Responsibilities
  • Incident Management Structures
  • Contact Details of Key Personnel
  • Alert and Standby Procedures
  • Communications Strategies
  • Actions for mitigating the impacts of an emergency
  • Access to Equipment and Resources
  • Coordination of Welfare Support
  • Coordination of the Recovery Phase

Training and Exercises

Training is provided for our staff to raise awareness of emergencies and to ensure that they are familiar with their roles and are able to respond to an emergency.

Our Emergency Planning team also coordinates exercises to test our emergency plans and procedures. An exercise is a simulation of an emergency situation that is used to:

  • Validate plans
  • Develop staff competencies and practice roles
  • Test well established procedures


If we have been involved in the response to major incident the emergency planning team will facilitate an organisational debrief. We will also participate in multi-agency debriefs if our attendance is required. The purpose of debriefing is to identify good practice and areas for improvement. Lessons that have been identified during the debrief process will need to be reflected in emergency plans and training/exercise programmes.