Emergency Management

About the Emergency Management Team

LRF and IRF Logos

Emergency Management is a means of assessing the threats and risks to the Island and putting plans in place to respond to an incident and assist in the recovery as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act (2004). The Act focuses on emergency preparedness but its requirements should be seen in the context of Integrated Emergency Management of which the following six activities are fundamental to an integrated approach:

  • anticipation
  • assessment
  • prevention
  • preparation
  • response
  • recovery management

Additionally the work under statutory regimes in the field of Civil Protection duties that we adhere to are:

  • The Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996  
  • Radiation (Emergency Preparedness & Public Information) Regulations 2001  
  • The Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 (COMAH)

We have joined the emergency services in formal strategic liaison arrangements to ensure greater consistency and co-operation between category one and two responders at the local level. Further explanation of how we carry out these duties can be found in the Partnership Working section of this page below.

What we do

Emergencies happen frequently on the Island such as traffic incidents, fires, etc. but the Emergency Management Team are not always involved. We step in to assist when events happen that are beyond the capacity of the emergency services to deal with unaided and we co-ordinate our response. We can help with things like specialist equipment, evacuation, housing and emergency feeding or extra manpower. We can’t always provide the resource ourselves but generally we know someone who can.

The response to any major incident will be multi-agency and could involve the Emergency Services, Public Services, Military, Voluntary Agencies, Industry, Local Authority and a host of other organisations within the public and private sector. 

Our role is to provide support to the emergency services, co-ordinate the resources required from us and take the lead in recovery management. This means rebuilding the community and restoring the environment.

The success of the response will depend to a great degree on how we all work together at times of extreme pressure. We therefore need to form good relationships across the board and continually plan, train, exercise, consult and liaise/network across both the island and mainland, to ensure the most appropriate, co-ordinated and effective response to any incident is provided.

We provide a Duty Officer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who is responsible for activating key council staff; advising them of appropriate measures to take, assisting throughout the incident and into the recovery phase.

Whatever the incident, our role is always to provide support and care to the island community and the environment and get things back to normal as soon as possible.

Types of incidents

The types of incidents we are involved with include:

  • adverse weather (heat, cold, snow)
  • flooding
  • suspect packages/explosive devices
  • disposal of dead whales/porpoises
  • foot and mouth outbreak
  • chemical canisters washed ashore
  • oil/chemical/diesel spills
  • asbestos incidents
  • fuel supply disruption
  • evacuation of people from their homes
  • landslip
  • suspected SARS outbreak on the island

How we help

We help in a variety of ways, including:

  • open our emergency control room
  • co-ordinate the local authority and voluntary sector response
  • liaise with outside agencies i.e. Emergency Services, utilities, military.
  • provide support to the Emergency Services
  • arrange for rest centres to be opened, equipped and staffed
  • arrange for the provision of food and welfare support within the rest centre
  • organise contact with a translation service
  • organise extra communication links
  • organise transport
  • provide information to the public and set up help-lines
  • responding to the press and opening a media briefing centre
  • organise the setting up of a temporary mortuary

We are a good information source and can offer a wide range of advice and guidance. We also have an extensive resources database containing information ranging from air transport to weather.

Partnership working

The Civil Contingencies Action 2004 (The Act) and associated guidance introduced the concept of Local Resilience Forums (LRF’s). This is the principal mechanism for multi-agency cooperation under the Act and is based on each Police Force area. Therefore we, and other local responders, are members of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (HIWLRF), to learn more about the forum visit the LRF website.

The purpose of the LRF is to ensure effective delivery of duties under The Act that need to be developed in a multi-agency environment. In particular, the LRF process should deliver:

  • The compilation of agreed risk profiles for the area, through a Community Risk Register
  • A systematic, planned and co-ordinated approach to encourage Category 1 responders, according to their functions, to address all aspects of policy in relation to:   
    • risk  
    • planning for emergencies
    • planning for business continuity management  
    • publishing information about risk assessment and plans  
    • arrangements to warn and inform the public and
    • other aspects of the civil protection duty, including promotion of business continuity management by local authorities, support and preparation by all of multi-agency plans and other documents, and the coordination of multi-agency exercises and training events

Following creation of the HIWLRF, the Island Resilience Forum (IRF) was formed as a subgroup to provide an Isle of Wight dimension to planning, concentrating on the risks and challenges faced by island communities. The IRF consists of a tactical level coordinating group of emergency planners to facilitate joint working between island partners.

Response plans

We have produced plans to cater for a number of different emergency situations. These are regularly maintained, exercised and updated to ensure that our staff can respond effectively to a range of incidents that might affect the island, and that the response is co-ordinated with the Emergency Services and other agencies.

  • Emergency Response Plan  - A generic plan outlining the actions to be taken to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible, to a variety of different scenarios that may affect the Island.

  • Rest Centre Plan - This plan is intended as a guide to the arrangements that are necessary for the establishment, activation and management of a Rest Centre to provide temporary accommodation in an emergency.

  • Fuel Supply Emergency Business Continuity Plan - In the event of a wide-scale fuel shortage, a means of keeping key services operational as far as possible during any disruption.

  • Marine Pollution Plan - Actions to be taken in the event of pollution to the Island’s coastline by oil, chemicals or other pollution sources which includes clean-up guidance.

  • Pandemic Influenza Response Plan - To enable the effective planning, response and recovery during a pandemic.

We also hold copies of plans produced by our other departments and agencies (not listed) which could be of use in an emergency.