Emergency Planning and Major Incidents

As a local authority it is our role to support the emergency services in the case of a major incident. We will co-ordinate the Council's response during a major incident, together with the responders. 

A major incident can arise with or without warning and can happen anywhere and at any time. Fortunately major incidents happen very infrequently. When they do happen, the size of the incident means that special arrangements are needed to help organisations work together and respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Council is part of the Staffordshire Resilience Forum (SRF) which comprises a range of organisations from across the County including the emergency services, all local authorities, the Environment Agency and the voluntary sector.

The SRF works to safeguard the interests of the people and communities in Staffordshire before, during and after a major incident / civil emergency.

Further information can be found at Staffordshire Prepared.

What is a Major Incident / Emergency?

An emergency is defined as:-

  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare and/or the environment.
  • War, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to security.

Examples of major incidents include:-

  • Natural disasters such as floods and storms
  • Pollution i.e. spillages, radioactive substances, toxic gases
  • War or terrorism
Civil Contingencies Act 2004

The Civil Contingencies Act places civil protection requirements on all public authorities and other agencies to work together to develop, maintain and implement effective arrangements for responding to emergency incidents, disasters, etc.

The Act:

  • Establishes a clear set of roles and responsibilities for local responders;
  • Gives structure and consistency to local civil protection activity; and
  • Establishes a sound basis for performance management at a local level.

The Act divides local responders into two categories depending on the extent of their involvement in civil protection work. Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (eg emergency services, local authorities).

As a local authority we are required under the Act to:-

  • Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency 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 advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management.

Further information on the Civil Contingencies Act can be found on the Gov.uk website.

The Emergency Plan

The Council has emergency plans in place to enabling us to respond or react to any major incident.

The Council will play a key role in alleviating the effects of an emergency on the community and the environment and restoring normality as quickly as possible by:

  • Liaison with the emergency services and supporting organisations;
  • The involvement, either directly or indirectly, of appropriate personnel;
  • Handling the large number of enquiries likely to be generated both from the public and the media;
  • Working closely with the emergency services, Staffordshire County Council, voluntary organisations, private industry and other organisations responding to an incident, to ensure that there is an efficient and coordinated response.
How to prepare for an Emergency

What can you do to prepare for an emergency?

  • Make a list of important contact details, such as family, friends, neighbours, GP, veterinary surgery, public utility companies etc. 
  • Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures both at work and for children at school. 
  • Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies. 
  • Know how to tune your radio to local stations. 
  • Know how your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency. 
  • Make up an emergency pack

Further information is available on gov.uk.

Home Emergency Pack

Try to keep enough of the following in your household at all times to last at least two days:

Suggested list

  • Lighting (torch/candles) and spare source of power (batteries etc) or wind-up torch. 
  • Cooking equipment (including tin-opener, utensils and cutlery). 
  • Drink (cans of juice, bottled water etc). 
  • Long life food and milk - Items that can easily be consumed such as ready to eat meats, canned fruits, crackers, cereal bars or biscuits. Check use by date and replace when necessary.) 
  • Portable radio and spare batteries or wind up radio. 
  • First Aid Kit - Include items such as assorted bandages, cleansing agents, pain relief tablets.  Remember prescription medication. 
  • Contact list 
  • Warm / Dry clothing and blankets. 
  • Personal hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste, feminine supplies 
  • Medication (including baby items). 
  • Entertainment items such as board games or books

Useful numbers to make a list of and put in your emergency pack

  • Doctor 
  • Insurance Company 
  • School 
  • Bank 
  • Family 
  • Utilities

In the Car:
These could vary depending on the time of the year, but could include items such as:

  • First Aid Kit. 
  • Bottled Water. 
  • Torch with spare batteries. 
  • In car mobile telephone charger 
  • Sweets or long life snacks 
  • Blanket, warm clothing and woolly hat 
  • Spare socks and gloves 
  • Waterproof clothing and Wellington boots.
Have you added "ICE" to your Mobile?

ICE = 'In Case of Emergency'

Storing 'ICE' along with a name and telephone number will enable emergency services to quickly contact someone for you in the event of an emergency.

Eight out of ten people in the UK don't carry next of kin details yet 80% carry a mobile phone, most of whom have it with them all the time. There is no simpler way of letting the emergency services know who to contact should you be involved in an accident than by using ICE.

If you are involved in an emergency

If you find yourself in an emergency - use common sense and your instincts. Do not put yourself or anybody else in danger. If emergency services are at the scene follow their advice and try to remain calm.

It is however important to:

  • Make sure 999 has been called 
  • Try and remain calm 
  • Speak clearly 
  • Tell the operator which service you require 
  • Tell the Emergency Service 
  • Where the trouble is 
  • What the trouble is 
  • Where you are

Do not hang up until the operator tells you to do so 
If there is a medical emergency, you may be given medical instructions that can help the patient Remember, 999 is free from any pay phone and mobile phone.

If you accidentally dial 999 STAY ON THE LINE and tell the operator what happened. Emergency operators treat unknown 999 calls as potential emergencies in progress requiring immediate response.

Please be sure that everyone in your home knows how to dial 999 - to report an emergency and be sure all children know that they should not dial 999 as a joke. Ensure you do not put yourself in danger.  Check for injuries.  Follow the advice of the emergency services.

If an incident occurs within close proximity you should:
Go inside a safe building and stay there until you are advised to do otherwise.

Tune into local TV or radio for situation updates. 
Go in, Stay in and Tune in.

Be aware of how to get information in the event of an emergency.
In the case of most major emergencies the simple advice to follow is to go insidestay inside and tune into the local radio.
With most incidents the safest place to be is indoors, with the correct preparation you should be able to stay there safely for some time (remember in the case of a fire in a building - get out and stay out).

If you are close to an emergency and believe you or others are in danger go inside a safe building (as long as you are sure there is no fire risk) and stay there until advised otherwise. Tune into local radio and television for updates on what is happening.

Local and national radio stations work together to make sure they can give out accurate and up to date information to keep people fully informed on what to do if there is a major incident.
Radio is easily accessible.

You can listen to it in the car and as long as you have a battery powered or wind-up radio you can still listen even if there is a power cut. Warning messages are categorised as below.

Threat - is used when describing the general need for alertness.

Alert - is used where there is a need for particular vigilance and readiness by the public to take specific action.

Warning - is reserved for occasions where when there is specific intelligence about a time and place, when the police need to take action to protect people.

Local radio stations:
The FM frequencies are shown below for some of the more common radio stations serving the area

  • FM 89.1 (BBC Radio 2)
  • FM 91.3 (BBC Radio 3)
  • FM 93.5 (BBC Radio 4)
  • FM 94.6 (BBC Radio Stoke - Stoke-on-Trent)
  • FM 104.1 (BBC Radio Stoke - Staffordshire)
  • AM 1503 (BBC Radio Stoke - Staffordshire)
  • FM 89.6 / 89.8 / 94.0 (Cannock Chase Radio)
  • FM 101.6 (Capital South East Staffordshire)
Flooding Advice

Over 5.5 million properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding from rivers, seas or surface water.  That's one in six, which means there's a high chance one of these properties is your home or business.

It pays to prepare for flooding - if your home or business is flooded it can be costly, not just in terms of money and time but also inconvenience and heartache.  While it's impossible to completely flood-proof a property, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the damage flooding can cause.  The key is to act now so you're prepared if there's a flood in your area.

Please click on any of the following links for information around flooding and what you can do to help yourself.

If you need any further advice or information then you can contact the Resilience team at Cannock Chase Council, PO Box 28, Beecroft Road, Cannock, Staffs. WS11 1BG or email civilcontingencies@cannockchasedc.gov.uk or call 01543 464 258.


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