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Emergency Plan

An emergency is defined as an event or situation that threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terrorism that threatens serious damage to the security of the UK.

Emergency Planning

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 combined all legislation that previously governed planning for emergencies within Local Authorities; including procedures and funding. It also provided them with a number of responsibilities:-

  • Co-operation
  • Emergency Planning
  • Information Sharing
  • Communicating with the public
  • Risk Assessment
  • Business Continuity Promotion (LA only)

'Emergency Planning' includes making sure that Local Authorities are prepared to respond appropriately to a 'Major Emergency' (such as a major flood, loss of power regionally or the consequences of terrorist actions) as well as being adequately prepared for a disaster that affects their capability to provide their services (such as a fire at the office or a failure of their IT system).

Local Authorities are obliged to ensure that they can continue to provide services during an emergency and return to full operation as quickly as possible in the event the incident continues to disrupt for an extended period.

This is termed 'resilience' and is derived from effective 'Business Continuity Management'. The Local Authority is also charged with providing small and medium sized business within the Borough with advice and support in regard to Business Continuity Management, and Planning, to enable them too, to build resilience into their business.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s Local Resilience Unit’s obligations are addressed in a number of ways, including policy and procedures contained within the Councils own Major Emergency Plan.

The Local Resilience Unit also deals with Business Continuity Management. Business Continuity Management (BCM) within the borough of Merthyr Tydfil is a process that:

  • Identifies potential threats to its operations
  • Identifies the impacts to our operations that those threats, if realised, might cause.
  • Provides a framework for building organisational resilience with the capacity for an effective response.
  • Safeguards the interests of Merthyr Borough's key Stakeholders, its’ reputation, and the provision of services to our customers

BCM is practiced throughout the organisation (including our supply chain), in order to maintain provision of critical services in the event that an adverse incident interrupted the daily business conducted by the Council.

You can contact us through the details provided on this website for the Local Resilience Unit.

Major Emergencies

The initial main concern of the Emergency Services and the Council must be for those directly involved in any major emergency or disaster. Concern also extends to relatives and friends of causalities.

It is vital that those responding to the incident are allowed to complete their task quickly and safely, with priority given to rescue operations to minimise causalities and preserve emergency communications.

Updated reports will be provided by the media. We would therefore ask the public to watch and listen to media reports of the incident without contacting the authorities, unless you have vital information which would affect the rescue and safety of those at the incident or disaster.

If you do have important information or feel that a relative or friend may be involved in the incident listen for details of specific telephone numbers which will be set up to provide information on the incident and contact numbers for those requiring further details.

The initial response to major emergencies is usually co-ordinated by the Police and other Emergency Services, and the longer term recovery plan generally by the Council. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s Local Resilience Unit is prepared to readily respond to all stages to ensure response and restoration of services.

Know what to do in an emergency

To respond to emergencies it always helps to know what is happening. Sometimes this is not possible and therefore it is necessary for your plan to be sufficiently flexible to work when you are unsure what is actually taking place.

  • Remain calm - be patient
  • Deal with the important things first

1. Care for any injured but only if it is safe to do so i.e. cut off power before helping someone suffering from electric shock. Do not go near any power cables that have been damaged.
2. Do not use matches, gas services may be damaged. If you smell gas, turn off at the main valve, open the windows and move everyone outside to an immediate safe location.
3. Check for fires and other hazards using appropriate gloves and equipment, i.e. domestic chemical or flammable liquid spills.
4. Check that your neighbours are OK, particularly the elderly and disabled.

Put your emergency plan into action

1. Watch TV or listen to the radio for news, information, particularly instructions on what to do.
2. If you need to travel try to work out the safest route and tell other family members where you are going, how you are travelling and what route you are taking. Leave a note at your home saying where you have gone.
3. Wear protective or appropriate clothing particularly during extremes of weather.
4. If possible call your family contacts so that they know what is happening.
5. If not accompanying you make sure your pets are safe and secure.
6. Gather your emergency kit together and be ready to move to your identified meeting place(s) or if this is not possible, to a rest centre nominated by the emergency services or local authority.

Getting away from a disaster area

1. When moving in or from a dangerous area, take care.
2. Stay together with your family or friends.
3. Do not enter fast flowing water where flooding is occurring.
4. If you are going to stay with family or friends try to inform a neighbour of your whereabouts.

Helping others in an emergency

1. People with disabilities may need more time than others to take necessary action in an emergency, be ready to offer help.
2. Be aware that some people with hearing or sight difficulties may not recognise warnings. Offer help where needed.
3. Working animals, such as guide dogs, may become confused during disasters, again offer help where needed.
4. Wheelchair ramps may become unusable seek other options for those requiring help.
5. Be ready to offer assistance to those disorientated or needing help with breathing or other ailments.
6. Recognise that some people may be suffering from emotional stress and try to direct them to someone who can help such as a local doctor, faith community representative, Salvation Army or British Red Cross representative.

Tune in to local radio stations to keep up to date with the latest information on the emergency.

Major Emergency

A 'Major Emergency' may require the implementation of special arrangements by one, or more, or all of the emergency ( CAT1 and CAT 2) responders for:

  • the rescue and transportation of a large number of casualties
  • the involvement either directly or indirectly of large numbers of people
  • the handling of a large number of enquiries likely to be generated both from the public and the news media, usually addressed by the police in the first instance
  • the mobilisation and organisation of the emergency responders and supporting agencies, e.g. local authority, to cater for the threat of death, serious injury or homelessness to a large number of people
Stages

Most major incidents can be considered to have four stages:

  • Initial response
  • Consolidation
  • Recovery
  • Restoration of normality (investigatory procedures may be introduced that could affect these stages)
Declaration

An emergency will be declared through a prescribed process required by legislation within the Major Emergency Plan and is subject to fulfilling certain criteria. The other emergency services will each attend with an appropriate predetermined response to the declared emergency, although the event may not fulfil every service's criteria of that definition and even if they are employed in a stand-by capacity and not directly involved in the incident.

Planning for Emergencies

The Council's Major Emergency Plan (MEP) is regularly reviewed and is available for downloading.

You can contact us through the details provided on this website for the Local Resilience Unit.
The unit co-ordinates the planning, training, exercising, activation and the management of the Council's response to emergencies. The unit works with the emergency services, voluntary agencies and other agencies, to ensure there is a co-ordinated and effective response for our community.

Multi Agency Flood Plan

We also hold copies of partners’ organisations' generic and specific plans as an aid to better understanding/co-ordination of joint efforts in day-to-day activities, exercises and emergency incidents.

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