Parish Emergency Action Plan
In recent times Brighton has experienced a major toxic chemical leak alert, Worthing has experienced a tornado, South Kent has experienced an earthquake and just a few miles away Halland has experienced a major incident caused by the fire and subsequent explosions at a firework store. All of these incidents occasioned the evacuation of some residents from their homes. Although the risk of a rural area suffering the horror of a terrorist attack is extremely small compared with that of major cities we can all imagine how the preparedness of a local team could help in an emergency from the pictures on our television screens. Major emergencies can happen quickly without warning. They have the potential to threaten and disrupt the lives of individuals and the community, sometimes with serious consequences. In addition to those mentioned above many of us will remember the effect that the Great Storm of 1987 had on the village, some had no power to their property or telephone for more than two weeks! It was interesting to note that many of those evacuated from their homes in Folkestone after the recent earthquake and were subsequently interviewed by television reporters, complained that there seemed to be a lack of local communication and organisation!
Last year, in common with many villages, towns and cities throughout the UK a local Emergency Plan was compiled and approved by the Hadlow Down Parish Council. It has been developed in consultation with the Wealden District Council Emergency Planning Officer and endorsed by the Chief Executive of the WDC.
Response to a major emergency situation is primarily the responsibility of WDC and East Sussex County Council and the Emergency Services. The Parish Council thinks it is wise to establish procedures, to be exercised through a Parish Emergency Plan Team, to support the Emergency Services in the event of a major emergency situation. Our Emergency Plan Team has now been in place since last September and since that time has been active in practising and discussing various emergency scenarios, maintaining and practising a regular emergency radio link with other towns and villages throughout the Wealden area and attending appropriate training courses such as First Aid.
The team’s role in an emergency would be to support the Emergency Services and community with local knowledge and resources, to take action in the absence of Emergency Services to protect public and private property where appropriate, to set up a control facility to co-ordinate the Parish response and implement emergency communications when necessary as well as keeping residents informed about the situation.
As part of the development of the plan a questionnaire was sent to all households asking for details of any resources and help that individuals would be prepared to offer in the event of an emergency. There was an excellent response and the Parish Council has a file of offers of approximately 300 items including small boats, generators, pumps cookers, tractors, spare rooms etc. etc. and also 300 offers of various skills and labour, the details of all these are all confidential and kept in sealed envelopes which will only be opened in the event of an emergency. The team recognise that people are going to move out and others move into the village from time to time so if you know of any of those original offers that are no longer valid or you offered a resource or a skill and are about to move out of the area please let the Parish Clerk know. Any new offers of resources are extremely welcome, if you feel that you have machines, items, accommodation or skills that would help in an emergency please contact the Parish Clerk. Another very important aspect of emergency planning is that the team can quickly be made aware of those in our community who have special needs such as help with mobility, blindness, diabetics and others on life supporting drugs, please advise the Parish Clerk if your details need to be placed on the list, it is completely confidential until such time as emergency action is needed,.
A 3-fold leaflet produced by the Emergency Plan team with information and suggestions as to what you can do to help yourself in the event of an emergency is available to download on this site.
The provisions etc. are just suggestions but are strongly recommended by the Emergency Plan Team as is the filling out of ‘phone numbers of family etc. on the green ‘card’ part of the leaflet which should be kept near a torch, radio and any other provisions that you decide to store.
Any questions and/or further information from
Parish Clerk Tel: 01435 860959 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or any member of the Parish Council