Merton Council

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Emergency planning

All local authorities have a duty to have plans in place to respond to an incident or emergency within the borough quickly and effectively.

See also: Business Continuity Advice for Businesses.

On this page

What is an emergency?

The Civil Contingencies act (2004) defines an emergency as something that threatens serious damage to either human welfare in the UK, the environment in the UK, or an act of war or terrorism that threatens the security of the UK.

It can also be an event or situation which poses a considerable test to an organisation's ability to perform its functions, in other words something that may limit our ability to perform our daily working duties, particularly our essential services.  In order to ensure we are able to continue to deliver these services the Civil Contingencies act also places a duty on local authorities to prepare business continuity plans for it's own services.

The London Emergency Services Liaison Panel (LESLP) procedure manual describes the agreed procedures and arrangements for effective co-ordination of a response to a Major Incident by the emergency services as well as an outline of the support role offered by local authorities.

In an emergency

If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency it is important to remember a few simple facts:

If you are at home and have to be evacuated, there are a few things that may be important to take with you such as;

  • Home and car keys
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Important documents such as insurance documents and any prescriptions you may need
  • Toiletries, medication and any essential supplies (especially if you have small children)
  • Your mobile phone and charger

If you have a torch or radio remember to take spare batteries.

If you are away from home and you are caught up in an emergency it is important not to panic but take advice from the emergency services who are dealing with the situation.

If your child is at school you will want to collect them but this may not always be possible, however all schools have plans in place to deal with emergencies such as fire and flood and the teachers and staff are equipped to look after their pupils.

If you are at work your employer has responsibility for the safety and security of all their staff. All businesses should have an evacuation plan and you should be made aware of this once you have taken up employment.

Merton's Major Incident Plan

Our plan is written using guidance from the Cabinet office. We work very closely with all the emergency services both before, during and after an incident and discuss any lessons learned from incidents.

The purpose of the plan is to provide procedures and guidance that will create a flexible, timely and effective response by the council in the event of a major emergency. This will contribute to alleviating the distress and disruption caused by such incidents.

The Major Incident plan

This provides an introduction to how the plan is developed describing the aims, objectives, and the council's role and definitions.

Parts of the plan are classified and are not available to the general public and have therefore been removed.

Borough Resilience Forum

In order to discharge their collective duties under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) Local Authorities and Category 1 and 2 partners regularly meet to discuss, plan and test plans for responding to an emergency within the borough or across London.  This is achieved via a three tiered approach, the London level at the London resilience forum, sub-regionally and at the borough level.  At the borough level the Borough Resilience Forum is made up of local representatives from all the Category 1 responders and partners.  The BRF meets four times a year and works to an agreed work program in line with London based and National planning.

Merton's BRF meetings

Borough Risk Register

One of the duties imposed upon Local Authorities under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) is to assess the risk of an emergency occurring within or affecting their geographical area. This duty is discharged at both the London (London Resilience Forum - LRF) and Borough level and is a collaborative evaluation of risk used to inform emergency planning, business continuity and warning and informing the public.

Risk assessment at the borough level for the London Borough of Merton is conducted through the Borough Resilience Forum (BRF), which is made up of the local Category 1 responders. You can view the Borough Risk Register here.

Current emergency information

The emergency information page gives current emergency information.

Emergency Planning for Schools

The council uses the national critical incident plans and associated resources developed for school emergencies.  Click here to download the zipped folder of resources.  For help with developing and testing plan please contact the Emergency Planning Officer.

If a school wishes to encourage children to develop an awareness of emergency planning there are a number of resources including, books, puzzles and games available at

Preparing for emergencies

We have produced a leaflet which gives advice on what to do in the event of an emergency. It gives advice on who to contact and what you may need to do and take with you if you have to be evacuated from your home.

Preparing for Emergencies leaflet

Community Resilience Programme

The community resilience programme encourages individuals and communities to become better prepared to deal with the impacts of emergencies.

The launch includes the publication of a series of online resources:

  • Strategic National Framework on Community Resilience – This sets out the principles of community resilience and outlines what the Government’s contribution will be to building community resilience. It is aimed at anyone who is interested in the strategic overview of community resilience policy.
  • Preparing for Emergencies - Guide for Communities – This is an introductory guide for those who might want to help their community to prepare for an emergency. It is intended to invite, inspire and motivate community leaders/champions to take steps to prepare their communities to cope in an emergency.
  • Community Emergency Plan Toolkit and Template – are intended for the community leaders and champions who are interested in creating an emergency plan for their community. The toolkit and template provide a step by step guide of how to do this. It emphasises that this is one way of preparing your community and invites community leaders to consider how they might adapt this to their local area. It includes good practice examples to show communities what can be achieved.
  • Preparing for Emergencies – revised web material - the updated web pages on GOV.UK aim to encourage members of the public to take steps to prepare for an emergency and to think about the risks they face. The pages set out how people can prepare at an individual and community level and provide links to key resources and further information.

The documents quoted above are available at Cabinet office/community resilience and can also be found at Preparing for emergencies ( website)

Winter Planning

The Winter Planning page links to several sources of information and provides guidance for the winter period.

Related websites

Priority Services Register (Citizens Advice Bureau) - extra help from energy suppliers for older and disabled people

Cabinet Office plays a central role in planning for emergencies and works with other government departments to ensure that the UK is prepared to deal with unexpected events. On the Cabinet Office website you can view among other things the national risk register and the national security strategy.

London Prepared provides information to Londoners and visitors on how to cope with an emergency, either by way of accidental, natural or malicious intent. It is also where you can view the London Prepared document. This includes the common sense advice found in Preparing for Emergencies booklet and information on what the government is doing to protect the country as a whole.

Flooding (Environment Agency)

MI5 The Security Service is responsible for protecting the UK against threats to national security. The MI5 website provides information on the current major threats to UK security and practical advice to help businesses and organisations to protect against them.

Public Health England plays a critical role in protecting people from infectious diseases and in preventing harm when hazards involving chemicals, poisons or radiation occur.

See also

Contact us

Emergency Planning Team
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Telephone: 020 8274 4901

This page was last updated on Friday 23 June 2017

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