Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Local Resilience Forum (LRF)?

Why do we need a Local Resilience Forum and what powers does it have?

What hazards might I potentially face in Devon, Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly?

What is an emergency?

What is emergency planning?

Why plan?

What are emergency plans?

What benefit is derived from training and exercising?

How is a major incident co-ordinated?

What is the Civil Contingencies Act 2004?

What is the Community Risk Register (CRR) and how has it been designed?

Who are Category 1 Responders?

Who are Category 2 Responders?

How can I personally prepare for emergencies?

What can I expect at a Rest Centres?

Who should I contact for further information on Avian/Bird Flu?

Where can I get information / warnings of severe weather?

Where can I get advice on flooding?

How do I stay safe in a flood?

What is the Local Resilience Forum (LRF)?

The members of the LRF represent leading public bodies (Category 1 and Category 2 responders). They make up the senior management group who are responsible for undertaking preparations for, and response to, major incidents and emergencies throughout the geographical area covered by the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. The forum meets on a regular basis and discusses the direction and polices relating to emergency planning.

Why do we need a Local Resilience Forum (LRF) and what powers does it have?

Before the Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 (known generally on this site as the 'Act'), co-operation between responders such as police, fire and ambulance was practised as a matter of routine and necessity. But this was an informal process. When the Act came into force, these organisations, referred to as Category 1and 2 responders, now had a statutory duty to plan for and co-operate with each other. The Local Resilience Forum fulfils this requirement.

The LRF is not a separate legal personality, nor does it have powers to direct its members. It is not a statutory body, but it is a statutory process. Put simply, it is a means by which Category 1 and 2 responders such as police, fire, ambulance, local authority and the utilities can get together and co-operate in the duties conferred on them by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

What hazards might I potentially face in Devon Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly?

Utility Emergencies



Severe Weather


Human Health Emergencies

Accident Hazard Pipelines

Animal Health Emergencies


Transport Emergencies

Hazardous sites

What is an emergency?

An event or situation that threatens serious damage to:

  • Human welfare

  • The environment

  • Security (effectively war or terrorism)

In order to constitute an emergency, an event or situation must additionally require the implementation of special arrangements by one or more category 1 responders.

What is Emergency Planning?

‘An approach to preventing and managing emergencies that entails six key activities – anticipation, assessment, prevention, response, and recovery. Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) is geared to the idea of building greater overall resilience in the face of a broad range of disruptive challenges. It requires a coherent multi-agency effort'. (Emergency Response and Recovery – HM Government, 2005)

Why Plan?

  • Prepare for unusual circumstances

  • Ensure delivery of pre-planned responses

  • Formulate a ‘check list'

  • Control the actions of others

  • Protect oneself and organisation(s)

  • Fulfil a legal requirement

  • Create a comprehensive reference document

What are Emergency Plans?

A plan is a written record of agreed future actions intended to be taken to prevent an emergency, or to respond to a disaster or emergency.

Contents of a typical plan:

  • Risk and consequence assessment

  • Alerting and mobilising procedures

  • Resources required

  • Roles and responsibilities of responding organisations and personnel

  • Incident management structures and processes

  • Communication

  • Strategies, tactics and operational responses

  • Public Information

What benefit is derived from training and exercising?

Through carrying out joint training and exercises partner agencies and stakeholders are able to provide an integrated and coordinated response. This collaboration familiarises all parties with the management framework during a response, highlights problems, ensures plans and procedures are up to date and formulates working relationships.

How is a major incident co-ordinated?

Multi agency co-operation is required during a major incident; the Local Resilience Forum ensures this. This Forum is made up of bodies that have specific duties as determined by the Civil Contingencies Act (2004). It has representatives from both category 1, and category 2 responders.

What is the Civil Contingencies Act 2004?

This act essentially requires leading public bodies to work together to identify, plan and deal with major emergencies.

In our area, the Local Resilience Forum has been created to administer the legislation across the counties of Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The Act requires the development of risk assessments in a published Community Risk Register. Risks in this context are those that could result in a major emergency and this Community Risk Register is the first step in the emergency planning process.

Sections of the Community Risk Register can be viewed by clicking on the link below. LINK NEEDED

What is the Community Risk Register (CRR) and how has it been designed?

The CRR lists hazards that are a potential risk to the population and infrastructure within the LRF area. The hazard topics were identified on a national level by the Cabinet Office, then modified and adapted to make them specific to local hazards.  

The hazards have been determined from studying historical data, and assessing the likelihood of their occurrence. The potential impacts of the risks posed by the hazards have been measured by using health, social, economic and environmental indicators, in accordance with the Emergency Preparedness guidance.

Who are Category 1 Responders?

See the page About Us

Who are Category 2 Responders?

See the page About Us

How can I personally prepare for emergencies?

The Government sent a booklet ‘Preparing for Emergencies – What you need to know' to every home in the UK, in August 2004. The booklet contains practical advice on the steps you can take to help yourself and your family in the event of an emergency. If you have misplaced the booklet you can download a copy from LINK REQUIRED

The Preparing for Emergencies website accompanies the booklet and provides online advice covering:

  • Guidance on how to prepare for a variety of emergencies that could occur

  • What to do in the event of an emergency

  • What the Government is doing to protect the country

What can I expect at a Rest Centres (RC)?

We want to ensure that your stay in our rest centres is as comfortable and as short as possible. There are a number of things that we will provide in every centre that we open, so expect to see the following:

  • Reception – staff will be there to meet and greet you, and to get you out of the cold. You will be given a Rest Centre Leaflet here and staff will advise you where you need to go and what you can expect.

  • Registration – everyone who comes into the centre will be registered by our staff, which will involve taking some basic details such as your name, address date of birth and any urgent needs that you may have. You will also be asked if there is someone who you may be able to stay with for the duration of the emergency, which may be more comfortable than staying put in the centre.

  • Assessment – once we have taken some details from you, we will then be able to work to make your stay even more comfortable, by providing some of the services shown below.  

  • Light refreshments – we hope that the WRVS (Women's Royal Volunteer Service) will provide you with a drink and a biscuit as soon as you arrive, and will make arrangements for hot meals when we need to.

  • Pets – pets are welcome in our rest centres but if you bring them with you, please be prepared to care for them, as you would at home. We will set aside an area for pets and help you to look after them as best we can.

  • Information – we will set up an information desk which will provide relevant and regular information about the emergency and when it is safe to return home.

  • Security – we want to ensure that the centre is a secure place to be, both for the evacuees, staff and their belongings by working with the police and owners of the building.

  • First aid service – every time we open a rest centre, we will work with the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance to ensure that there is a team of qualified first aiders available to deal with medical matters.  

  • Communications –being able to communicate with the outside world is important for evacuees and staff, so we will make sure that we can do this.

  • Transportation – to get you to the rest centre and more importantly home again after the centre has closed.

Once we have registered you, we will make an assessment from the information that you have provided, and where we can, make arrangements to provide further services to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. These might include hot meals, overnight arrangements, longer-term housing provision (if you can not return home for a significant period of time) general welfare care and psychological support, looking after the specific needs of individuals and entertainment.

Who should I contact for further information on Avian/Bird Flu?

DEFRA is the lead government department for Avian Flu. Their website contains detailed information on Avian Flu including a list of frequently asked questions. Include link to their website  

For any further concerns or questions the DEFRA helpline number is 08459 335577.

Where can I get information / warnings of severe weather?

The Met Office have responsibility for warning the community of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause danger to life or widespread disruption of communications or transport through its National Severe Weather Warning Service.

This service can be accessed via the web at: Met Office weather warnings

Weather warnings will also be broadcast during regular weather forecasts via local radio, and ITV Teletext page 160 and BBC CEEFAX pages 437 and 438 are all updated frequently.

Where can I get advice on flooding?

Flooding can pose a serious hazard to lives and property. By taking simple precautions you can minimise the damage caused by flooding. The Environment Agency ‘Floodline' service offers flood warnings for England and Wales. The Floodline service can be accessed day or night for real time flood warnings and advice on:

FLOODLINE 0845 988 1188

The Environment Agency also offers practical advice for coping with floods, and minimising the damage that flood water can cause. Such as

  • Am I at risk of flooding

  • Flood Preparation for Businesses

  • Flooding a guide for Older People

  • Flood warnings in force

  • Prepare for flooding

  • Online flood library

In addition to the measures below, a range of practical hints and tips relating to what to do before, during and after a flood are provided by the Environment Agency.

Environment Agency Advice

The Environment Agency's three steps to take to prepare for flooding:

  • Visit the Environment Agency website or call our 24 hour Floodline on 0845 988 1188 to find out if you are at risk of flooding

  • Find out if flood warnings are available in your area

  • Make sure you understand the flood warning codes so you know what to do when a flood warning is issued

If floods are imminent, people must:

  • Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities - you may be evacuated

  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains. Find out where these are well in advance

  • Put plugs into sinks and weigh them down with something heavy

  • Move sentimental items like photographs upstairs and think about storing them more safely in future in case you forget or don't have time to move them during a flood

  • Move as many possessions upstairs as you can

How do I stay safe in a flood?

Here is some general advice:

  • ·Switch off water, gas, and electricity supplies at the first sign of flooding to your property.

  • ·Move your family and pets upstairs or to higher ground if threathened by floods. Move anything you can upstairs if possible.

  • ·Don't try to walk or drive through floodwater. Only 6 inches of fast lowing water can knowck you over. Two feet of water will float your car. If you must go through floodwater, remember to go very slowly.

  • ·Never try to swim in fast flowing water - you may be swept away or be struck by an object in the water.

  • ·Manhole covers can be lifted in a flood and there may be other hazards you can't see.

  • ·Avoid contact with floodwater - it may be contaminated with sewage.

Don't walk on sea defences, riverbanks or cross river bridges if possible - they may collapse in extreme situations or you may be swept off by large waves. Beware of stones and pebbles being thrown up by waves