Planning for emergencies in the capital

Our plans for dealing with major incidents that may occur in the capital are available to download below.

London's Emergency Plans

After assessing the risk of emergencies in London, our partner organisations work together to develop plans. These plans cover actions taken to prevent emergencies from happening, reduce or control the impacts on any emergencies which do occur, and take action in connection with an emergency.

The response to most emergencies involves multiple organisations, so multi-agency plans like those below provide a single agreed set of procedures across different agencies. The process of emergency planning also helps understand the impact on routine services, and allows organisations to plan accordingly.

The emergency plans in London can be grouped into those which are applicable to all emergencies and those which are designed specifically for particular types of emergency.

Generic Emergency Plans

Generic emergency plans are designed to be used irrespective of the type of incident that has occured. For example, all emergencies require coordination of responding agencies and the ability to provide information to the public.

Specific Emergency Plans

Specific emergency plans are developed to provide a tailored response to individual types of risk. For example, not all emergencies involve flooding, so we have a separate framework setting out the response to that risk.

All of the specific plans are designed to complement the generic plans, and can be simultaneously activated. For example, it might be necessary to undertake an evacuation during an adverse weather event, in which case multiple emergency plans would be activated.

The Emergency Planning Process

It is usual to view emergency planning as part of a cycle of activities starting with risk assessment, determining priorities, developing, embedding and then reviewing arrangements. There is lots of guidance available to help you develop an emergency plan, but we've set out some key aspects of our process below.

What should an emergency plan contain?

No two emergencies are the same, so all of London's plans have a degree of flexibility to adapt to the particular circumstances. However, we use the Government guidance on Emergency Planning to help ensure that London's plans are as effective as possible.

5 key sections an emergency plan should contain

  1. Risk Profile - set's out why the plan is required
  2. Objectives - summarising who has a role in the plan and what standard of response is required
  3. Activation - explains how/when the plan is activated
  4. Coordination and Action - provides information on what will be done, by whom, and how they will work together
  5. Annexes - which should list further detail such as specific contact details, or detail relating to specific actions (be aware that in many of the plans published on this page, these annexes, or the operational detail, has been removed)

Plan validation, maintenance and review

Once a plan has been developed it needs to be made available to the people who might need to use so they can be trained and the effectiveness of the plan validated. This is usually through an exercise which allows responders to simulate an emergency and their response. 

Exercises take many different forms, but you may have seen Exercise Unified Response which explored the response to a simulated building collapse and transport incident.

Our plans are regularly reviewed to take account of learning from exercises, incidents and changes in policy. We work with both our professional partners, industry and research communities when reviewing plans to ensure the latest best practise is incorporated.

Exercise Unified Response (Full Video)

Find out more about Emergency Planning

Find out more about the legal requirements for Emergency Planning, and national guidance for those involved.

There are also professional societies such as the Emergency Planning Society and the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, who have lots of valuable experience and resource.

If you'd like to know more about our plans, or emergency planning in general, please get in touch with us.

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