The role of the council in emergencies
Our role in a major incident is to support the emergency services and then to help return life to normal as soon as possible.
To achieve this, we will:
- respond to requests from the emergency services to assist in response to major incidents
- co-ordinate our response with North Yorkshire County Council, other local authorities; town and parish councils; and the voluntary sector
- mobilise our staff to carry out tasks requested by the emergency services. Depending on the scale and type of incident, this may include:
- establishing an Emergency Control Centre to co-ordinate our response
- setting up rest centres to provide shelter, food and information to people evacuated from the vicinity of a major incident
- providing advice on the temporary re-housing of people who are unable to return to their homes
- specialist advice to the public on matters such as public health and structural stability of buildings
- providing information to the public and the media
- supplying sandbags in flooding incidents which are life threatening
- assisting in cleaning up the area affected by a major incident
- as far as possible, keep our everyday council services running despite diversions of staff and other resources to handling of the incident
- take a leading role in helping the community to recover and to return life to normal
We have a mutual aid protocol with other local authorities across the North East to assist one another in responding to a major incident. This allows us to "borrow" staff and equipment from other authorities, particularly if we are faced with a prolonged emergency. However, it is important to recognise that the council is not a "24/7" organisation like the emergency services.