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Preparing for an emergency

Preparing for an emergency can help to reduce the impact it has

What would you do in an emergency? Here's some useful advice on how you can help your community or business prepare. 

Community Resilience

Community groups can support the wider community to be more prepared and resilient to emergencies. They can help by:

  • being aware of the risks that your community might face
  • having an emergency contacts list for their group to keep in touch during an emergency event
  • identifying who might be vulnerable in an emergency
  • being prepared to offer support if needed
  • developing, or helping to develop, an emergency plan for your organisation or community

Parish and Town Councils are not an emergency service. They have no statutory responsibility to plan for, or respond to, emergencies. They are not trained, equipped, empowered or resourced to carry out the functions of an emergency service. 

Developing a community emergency plan

It is good practice for a community to identify local hazards. This enables them to plan how to help the emergency services and other responding agencies. 

A community emergency plan should focus on the welfare of people and local infrastructure e.g roads. It should aim to:

  • provide a co-ordinated response from the local community
  • identify key contacts and resources within the locality
  • identify places of safety for residents if an evacuation is needed
  • identify vulnerable people or groups that may need extra help
  • identify local hazards within the community
  • help to keep residents in the parish updated about the situation

To help communities develop their own emergency plans, we have developed some guidance and a plan template:

More information is available on the and Communities Prepared websites. 

Business Continuity

Is your business prepared for the unexpected? Could you carry on trading during an emergency?

It is important that businesses are aware of potential hazards that affects their ability to function. 'Business Continuity' is about thinking ahead about what might affect your business. This allows you to plan to make sure your business can survive the emergency. 

Many businesses already have plans in place to deal with sudden commercial risk. Planning for the aftermath of a major incident (e.g flood, fire) is very similar as it could have the following consequences:

  • damage to your buildings
  • loss of IT systems, records and communications
  • staff unable or unwilling to travel to work
  • loss of staff through injury or death
  • adverse psychological effects on staff e.g stress and demoralisation
  • damage to reputation
  • change in business demands

Experience shows that organisations with Business Continuity arrangements are more likely to stay in business (and recover quickly) than those who don't. There are simple steps you can take to increase the chances of your business surviving a disruption.

Making a Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan sets out clear roles for your staff. This will help them to manage better during difficult circumstances. 

It makes good business sense as it:

  • Helps you to maintain 'business as usual'
  • Reduces the potential for financial loss
  • Helps you maintain a good reputation and avoid bad publicity
  • Builds staff confidence

View Business Continuity advice from the Government.

View Fenland District Council's  Business Continuity Handbook (PDF) [1MB] .

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