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Emergency planning

Ayrshire Civil Contingencies Team

Ayrshire Civil Contingencies Team is a shared service team for North, South and East Ayrshire Councils and ensures that the Council will be able to respond speedily and effectively in a major emergency.

If disaster strikes, or if emergencies develop in Ayrshire, communities will look to the Council for support and advice.  The Ayrshire Civil Contingencies Team ensures that the Council will be able to respond speedily and effectively in a major emergency in accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

Our responsibilities include preparing comprehensive and robust contingency plans and procedures irrespective of the nature of the emergency.  The main aim is to preserve life and property.  Every emergency plan sets out to:.

  • Mitigate the harmful effects of the emergency on the environment
  • Bring about a swift return to normal life in the communities and environment affected
  • Encourage all agencies and organisations to prepare for their role

How do we prepare for emergencies:

Specific emergency plans have been drawn up for a number of industrial sites in the area.  In addition, the team have prepared plans for emergencies such as foot and mouth, pandemic flu and pollution disasters.

What kind of events do we plan for?

Examples of emergencies we must plan for are:

  • Severe weather and flooding: storms or blizzards and freezing conditions resulting in major disruption and damage to the area as a whole or individual communities within it.
  • Transportation Incidents:such as major rail incidents, spillages of dangerous goods from road tankers, marine transport incidents and aircraft incidents.
  • Oil Pollution:having a large coastline the threat of oil pollution and other toxic releases from marine incidents remains a serious threat.
  • Nuclear incidents:includes both civilian and military threats from Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station (redacted version) and the Royal Navy submarines en-route to Faslane.
  • Crowd related incidents:specific threats that occur when large numbers of the public meet in one place such as sporting events or at specialist events.
  • Industrial related incidents:such as an incident occurring at one of the many industrial sites within Ayrshire or effects of incidents happening at an industrial site outwith Ayrshire.
  • Utility facilities:including gas, water and electricity (Scottish Power and SSE).
  • Outbreak of infection: Ayrshire has plans in place for pandemic flu, Foot and Mouth and Rabies.
  • Acts of Terrorism: Events indicate an increasing awareness of the possibility of terrorist attacks on the UK.  The threat in Ayrshire is hard to assess and we have no specific information on the likelihood of such an attack but our procedures have been reviewed.

How do we respond to emergencies:

Our ability to respond quickly to an emergency is vital and requires an integrated and co-ordinated approach both with other council staff and with our partners (Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc).

The Civil Contingencies Response and Recovery Plan outlines the special management and operational arrangements which will direct our response.  The Plan follows guidance offered by the Cabinet Office, known as Integrated Emergency Management which focuses on the consequences rather than the cause.

Ayrshire Civil Contingencies Team works closely with our colleagues from the emergency services as well as NHS Ayrshire and Arran, the utility companies and transport companies and meet regularly to share information, develop plans, carry out exercises and joint training.  These close working relationships enable us to respond quickly and effectively to situations.

In addition to the above we work with our partners in the Ayrshire Local Resilience Partnership (membership are the Emergency Services, Transport and Utilities as well as HM Prison and UWS) to:

  • Develop and maintain a Joint Civil Protection strategy for assessment, prevention, preparation, response and recovery phases.
  • Develop and maintain corporate cultures to maintain enthusiasm, readiness and effective response at all levels.
  • Utilise mutual aid agreements between the authorities to provide assistance with additional resources during an emergency which may go beyond the resources of an individual organisation.
  • Facilitate information sharing, the development of good practice and where possible promote consistency in preparation for the response to emergencies requiring mutual aid in Ayrshire.
  • Design and deliver in-house civil protection education, training and awareness courses.
  • Improve communication, co-ordination and co-operation with the public, appropriate voluntary agencies, relevant site operators, WoSRRP (West of Scotland Regional Resilience Partnership), partners and the Scottish Government.
  • Maintain the Community Risk Register; a formal assessment of the risk by responders, which then forms a basis for supporting the preparation of emergency plans.
  • Undertake regular self-assessment and report on service delivery against agreed objectives in line with existing performance management regimes.

What can you do in an emergency?

There are a number of things that you can do to prepare yourself and your family in an emergency.  This might be a flooding incident or a power outage.  The Scottish Government has a very useful webpage Get Ready for an Emergency and includes a number of different sections including:

  • Stay informed (and includes links to weather and traffic disruptions)
  • Create an Emergency Plan for your Home 
  • Have an Emergency Kit available: details of what is included in this is includes below
  • Get support or Offer Support: details of contact numbers for utilities if you (or a member of your family) has additional needs or are vulnerable.  We would strongly recommend that you pre-register if you fall into these categories.