Emergency planning

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.