When a rapid onset emergency (major fire, flash flooding, transport accident etc) occurs, the emergency services are usually the first to arrive at the scene. Their immediate objectives will be to save life, alleviate suffering and contain and mitigate the impacts of the emergency. Our role is to support the emergency services and to maintain essential day-to-day services to the community.

The support provided by us will depend on the type of emergency and its impacts. Actions may include:

  • Supporting the response to incidents affecting the highway and public rights of way;
  • Providing signage for road closures and diversions;
  • Removal of dangerous trees on Council land;
  • Inspecting dangerous structures and taking appropriate action to remove the danger;
  • Taking emergency prohibition action for unsafe housing;
  • Managing incidents within Tor Bay Harbour limits; the harbour estate, beaches and shoreline;
  • Advising on environmental health issues, such as contamination and pollution, which may impact the health and well being of individuals and communities.
  • Arranging transport and temporary shelter for residents who have been evacuated from their homes and are unable to stay with family and friends or make alternative arrangements;
  • Coordinating welfare support from the voluntary sector;
  • Working with partners to provide information to the public via local TV, radio, social media, leaflets, etc
  • Providing emergency mortuary capacity where existing capacity has been exceeded.

Not all emergencies occur suddenly and without warning. Slow onset incidents such as infectious disease outbreaks usually follow a period where the development of the threat has been closely monitored by the organisations responsible for public or animal health. If an infectious disease outbreak occurs we will:

  • Lead the response to public health incidents and outbreaks that affect the population of Torbay.
  • Support the response to notifiable animal disease outbreaks.

It should be noted that very few local authority services operate 24 hours a day. It may take time to notify staff and deploy resources in response to rapid onset incidents that occur outside of normal working hours.