It is very unlikely that any of us will ever be caught up in an emergency or disaster, but by being informed and prepared we can significantly reduce risk to life and property in an emergency.
Emergencies can happen, and when they do, they have the potential to threaten and disrupt the lives of individuals and communities. Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is committed to developing a better place to live and work. In order to reduce the impact of an incident, the Civil Cointingencies Team co-ordinates the planning and preparation of council resources in order to provide an appropriate response to any emergency.
The UK Government and the devolved administrations are working hard to make sure that the UK is as prepared as it can be in the event of an emergency; and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 has brought about significant changes to the way in which we prevent, plan for, and respond to emergencies.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 defines an emergency as:
"...an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK..."
Under the act, local authorities (as category one responders) are responsible for:
- Assessing local risks to establish emergency preparedness. (Community Risk Register)
- Making arrangements in order to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- Making business continuity arrangements for its functions.
- Making arrangements to warn and inform the public about emergencies.
- Sharing information and cooperate with other organisations to improve emergency response.
Promoting business continuity management within the local community.
Click here to view the Gwent Local Resilience Forums Community Risk Register which identifies the key risks within Gwent.
The role of the Civil Contingencies Team.
The Civil Contingencies Team has two specific functions: -
1. Preparing for an emergency
In helping to prepare the council, the Civil Contingencies Team: -
- Develops contingency arrangements to reflect the risks identified.
- Assists the council in making arrangements for warning and informing the public about emergencies.
- Assists the council in making business continuity arrangements.
- Assists the council with business continuity promotion to local businesses.
Ensures that the council is an integral part of the South Wales Local Resilience Forum.
2. Responding to an emergency
The Civil Contingencies Team has a 24 hour response function, and in the event of an incident, a Duty Officer will liaise with the emergency services and assist with the co-ordination of council resources to provide an appropriate response.
The council's primary functions are to: -
- Support the emergency services.
- Support and care for the local and wider community.
- Use its resources to mitigate the effects of the emergency.
- Co-ordinate the response of organisations other than the emergency services.
- Take the lead role in rehabilitating the community and restoring the environment as the emphasis switches to recovery.
In addition: -
The Civil Contingencies Team is also an integral part of event safety in Blaenau Gwent, providing advice as part of a Safety Advisory Group which advises on events taking place within Blaenau Gwent.