Planning for emergencies in the capital
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 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.
Strategic Coordination Protocol - this sets out how all emergency responders work together in the event of an emergency in London
- London Emergency Services Liaison Panel Manual - provides information on the multi-agency initial response, aligned with the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles
- Communicating with the Public Framework – summarises how we’ll communicate with the public before, during and after an emergency
- London Recovery Management Protocol - outlines how the recovery from a major emergency is coordinated
- London Voluntary Sector Capabilities Document - provides information on the services available from pan-London voluntary organisations, which can support the response
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.
- London Strategic Flood Response Framework - information for local responders to assist in decision making and planning for a flood incident
- London Pandemic Influenza Framework - response to an outbreak of pandemic flu
- London Humanitarian Assistance Plan – planned support for those affected by emergencies
- London Mass Casualty Framework – response arrangements in the event of an incident involving many casualties
- London Mass Fatality Framework – how London will respond to an incident involving a significant number of deaths in a short space of time
- London Excess Deaths Framework - response to a large number of deaths over an extended period of time, for instance as a result of disease
- London Structural Collapse Response and Recovery Framework - guidance for planning for and responding to a large scale structural collapse
- London Severe Weather and Natural Hazards Framework - actions to be taken in the case of heatwaves, snow and other adverse weather
- London Mass Evacuation Framework – guidance for managing a mass evacuation of displaced persons
- London Mass Shelter Framework – guidance for sheltering large numbers of people affected by emergencies
- London Drought Response Framework - explains the arrangements in place for a coordinated approach to managing drought
- Severe Drought Scoping Study - In 2017 London Resilience Partnership and Thames Water undertook a study to scope the implications of a severe drought and propose risk management measures. This report details the outcomes of the scoping study including six recommended actions that will be incorporated into the work of the London Resilience Partnership from 2018 onwards.
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
- Risk Profile - set's out why the plan is required
- Objectives - summarising who has a role in the plan and what standard of response is required
- Activation - explains how/when the plan is activated
- Coordination and Action - provides information on what will be done, by whom, and how they will work together
- 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 & 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 alows 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 buliding 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.
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.