The work undertaken by the Emergency Planning Team can be separated into three areas – Planning, Responding and Recovery.
Calderdale Council Emergency Planning Team works in close partnership with other Council services and external organisations through the West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, including the Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service and Environment Agency, to prepare and plan for emergencies. Once Plans have been written, key personnel are trained and an exercise is developed to test that Plans work and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities. Plans are reviewed and amended on an annual basis to ensure they remain relevant and would be effective should they be activated.
The Council’s Emergency Incident Plan is a generic plan used in all emergencies. It sets out who does what within the Council and a framework for responding. In addition, the Council have other plans which focus on either an identified risk, for example flooding, or enabling the response to an emergency, for example a Rest Centre Plan. For more information about how risks are identified and planned for, see: Preparing for Emergencies .
The Emergency Planning Team also develops Business Continuity Plans (see: Business Advice) for the Council, this ensures if an incident occurs the Council is able to continue to maintain its critical functions and restore normal business as soon as possible. In addition, the Team provides the public with information about preparing for emergencies and what to do in the event of an emergency to increase community resilience.
The Emergency Planning Team has an Adviser on duty 24 hours a day throughout the year. This ensures the Council can be contacted at any time by partner organisations in the event of an emergency and an appropriate response can be initiated. In addition, the team monitor flood warnings and weather forecasts closely when there is a potential risk of flooding or severe weather in Calderdale.
During the response to an emergency, the Emergency Planning Team coordinate the Council’s response, and may do so from an Emergency Control Centre . The Emergency Planning Team also aim to support the emergency services response to ensure the needs of the communities affected by the emergency are addressed. For more information about how communities will be supported during an emergency, see: Rest centres .
The Council is responsible for the recovery from an emergency. The recovery process begins whilst the emergency is occurring, not once the emergency has finished.
Following a smaller emergency, recovery may only take several hours and involve residents being allowed back into their homes following an evacuation. However, recovery from a larger incident may take a number of weeks, months or years and may be about returning to a new ‘normality’.
Following an emergency, a debrief will take place whereby all those involved in the incident discuss what went well and what could be improved upon. After the debrief the plans which were activated in response to the emergency will be reviewed and amended where necessary. Further training and exercising of the plans will then take place to ensure changes are effective.