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How we prepare for emergencies

Find out how we plan and respond to emergencies.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes the roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency planning and response. As a Category 1 responder, we have a statutory duty to respond effectively to emergencies. This is managed by the Contingency Planning Team. 

The Contingency Planning Team must: 

  • assess the risk of emergencies occurring
  • put in place emergency plans
  • put in place business continuity management arrangements
  • have arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency
  • share information with other local responders to enhance coordination
  • cooperate with other local responders to enhance coordination and efficiency
  • provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management

What does the Contingency Planning Team do?

The team works closely with other local authorities, the emergency services and partner organisations to ensure that when an incident occurs, our response and recovery plans are ready to be activated.  

When requested, the team joins the emergency services at the incident scene to coordinate our response. In some cases, our response is coordinated from the Borough Emergency Control Centre.  

We can assist through a range of different departments, from Environmental Health to Highways and Transportation. Working alongside partners such as the British Red Cross, we also provide specialist care and humanitarian services to those who need it.  

Emergency plans

Our contingency plans are maintained by the Contingency Planning Team. These plans are in place to ensure that we can provide specialist resources and technical support to the emergency services. 

The team has a generic contingency plan and a number of specific plans to deal with a wide range of incidents.

These plans cover essential components such as risk assessment, incident response, council service provision and recovery. 


CONTEST is the UK’s counter terrorism strategy. It aims to reduce the risks from terrorism so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence. Our Contingency Planning Team works alongside Prevent to fulfil the ‘Prepare’ portion of CONTEST’s strategic aims.

Find out more about Counter Terrorism (CONTEST)

Contact us

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 020 7641 6000

Published: 23 December 2020

Last updated: 24 January 2021