Civil Contingencies

Plans, structures and categories for an emergency, responding to an emergency and supporting the long-term recovery following an emergency.

Local authorities have a key role to play in planning for an emergency, responding to an emergency and supporting the long-term recovery following an emergency and are Category 1 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004

‘Category 1’ responders, are subject to six duties:

  1. Carry out a risk assessment and contribute to the development of a community risk register.
  2. Plan for emergencies, including training and exercising.
  3. Ensure robust business continuity arrangements are in place to maintain service delivery.
  4. Ensure arrangements are in place to warn & inform the public both before and during emergencies.
  5. Co-operate with partner agencies.
  6. Share information with partner agencies.

In addition to these six duties, Local Authorities have an additional statutory duty which is to promote business continuity to local businesses and the voluntary sector.

Other Category 1 responders are:

In addition to formal statutory duties there is an increasing recognition that responders (local authorities in particular) need to draw on the resources and abilities of their communities to help prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies as effectively as possible.

This is known as community resilience (and can be defined as “communities and individuals harnessing resources and expertise to help themselves prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, in a way that complements the work of the emergency responders”). 

Category 2 Responders

These are organisations which, although not ‘primary’ responders, could potentially have a significant role in an emergency. They include:

  • Utilities  (Scottish Water, gas and electricity distributors and telecommunications companies)
  • Transport (airport operators, railway operators, Network Rail, roads companies, Transport Scotland)
  • Harbour authorities
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • NHS National Services Scotland

Category 2 responders have statutory duties to co-operate and to share information with Category 1 responders in the planning and response to major emergencies

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