Emergency Planning FAQ's
Emergency Planning FAQ'sPublished by: Fife Council
This list of FAQs should answer most questions you may have on Emergency Planning. However if you have a question not included here then please contact us below:
Telephone: 01592 583544 or
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What type of emergency does the council plan for?
Fife Council has a number of plans in place which provide council servicesand staff with appropriate guidance when responding to an incident. The Major Emergency Plan is a generic plan which can be used for many types of incidents. These could include major fires, floods, other severe weather events, gas explosions, water shortages and terrorist attacks. In the first stages of the emergency, the council is likely to be asked for support by the Emergency Services.
For more information about the council's role in emergency planning and to see the other plans the council has in place please use the link below to take a look through the Emergency Planning and Business Continuity web pages on Fifedirect:
Q. Why does the council need emergency plans?
Fife Council prepares emergency contingency plans to ensure that they can respond effectively to emergencies in Fife and provide support for the emergency services. The plans also provide guidance for staff when responding to emergencies.
The introduction of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires designated Category One responders, including the emergency services, health and local authorities, to prepare contingency plans and develop response arrangements for a range of major emergencies. Please use the link below which will take you to the council's Emergency Plans web page on Fifedirect:
Q. Who is responsible for the council's emergency plans?
The Emergency Planning & Business Continuity Team manage the council's emergency plans and supporting arrangements on behalf of the Chief Executive of the Council. Staff who are likely to be involved in a response are encouraged to participate in and/ or observe planned exercises or events. Services will also work closely with the team to assist with the review and/or development of contingency plans.
Q. Where is Emergency Planning HQ and is this where any disaster recovery would be controlled from?
The Emergency Planning & Business Continuity Team is based in the council's Headquarters, Fife House, Glenrothes. If an emergency arises the Team will co-ordinate the council's response and if necessary activate the council's Emergency Control Room (ECR). Key service representatives across the council will be asked to attend the ECR to manage the incident from this central point.
Disaster recovery of IT systems is currently managed by the council's IT Service.
Q. How does the council get alerted to an incident?
The Emergency Services or the council's Customer Contact Centre will normally alert the Duty Emergency Planning Officer (DEPO) that an incident is about to take place or has already happened. The council's response to the incident will be co-ordinated throughout the incident, by the the Duty EPO or an appointed Incident Manager, from Senior Management. This will occur if the incident escalates and the Emergency Control Room has been activated.
Q. What are the emergency plans for Fife and is Fife prepared for a major incident?
The Emergency Services, NHS, and other Category One responders will have their own Emergency Planning Teams and emergency plans. Multi-agencies regularly liaise to exercise their plans to ensure that they are all best prepared in the event they need to respond to a major incident affecting Fife. The council have a number of emergency plans and procedures including those listed below. If you would like to read more please use the link below which will take you to the Team's web pages on Fifedirect:
- Major Emergency Plan
- COMAH Regulations Offsite Contingency Plan
- Major Accident Hazard Pipelines Plan
- Oil/Chemical Pollution Contingency Plan
- Animal Diseases Plan
- Pandemic Flu Plan
- Emergency Centre Plan
Q. Are there plans for emergencies such as oil pollution and explosions from sites such as Mossmorran?
Yes, there are specific plans in place for these type of incidents and the emergency services, local authority and the individual organisations must collectively test these plans. To read more about these particular plans please use the link below which will take you to our subject pages on Fifedirect:
- Major Emergency Plan
- COMAH Regulations Offsite Contingency Plan
- Oil Pollution Contingency Plan
- Major Accident Hazard Pipelines Plan
Q. Who is the initial contact should a major incident occur and what would happen if toxic waste was involved?
The Emergency Services would be the first people to be involved in responding to this type of an incident. They would then co-ordinate the incident, involving the relevant emergency responders where necessary. Fife Council's principal role in the response is to support the Emergency Services.
Q. How can I find out more about a current incident?
Tune into your local radio / tv stations, and check out FifeDirect's 'Emergency Closures, Disruptions and Severe Weather web pages, please use the link below to access this area:
Q. Does this incident affect me now?
The Emergency Services will alert the public when an incident is likely to affect you and/or your community. They will provide the public with appropriate safety guidance ie can you leave your home, do you need to keep windows closed etc.
For more information about a current incident please take a look at the FAQ titled 'How can I find out more about a current incident?'
Q. What do I do if I am affected by an incident?
It will very much depend on the incident type. But best guidance is to 'Go Indoors, Stay Indoors and Tune In' to local radio and always listen to the advice provided by the Emergency Services. Use the link below to take a look at our short dvd called 'Go Indoors, Stay Indoors and Tune In' - it has some useful tips:
Q. In the event of an emergency incident how will I find out what's going on as I do not have a computer or internet access?
The Emergency Services and the council will ensure that local radio and TV stations provide you with regular updates on the situation and any important developments. In certain circumstances loud-speakers may be used by emergency services in the area affected or they may carry out door-to door visits.
Q. I live near the Mossmorran Plant, Cowdenbeath and I would like to know what measures are in place to ensure the safety of residents and how we will be informed if an accident takes place? Are there other sites in Fife which could be potentially dangerous to residents?
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations ensure that individual industrial organisations provide emergency leaflets with guidance and instructions and other relevant information to residents who live within the Public Information Zone (PIZ). These 'Zones' will differ depending on the likelihood and extent of an incident happening in Fife. Sites who have to adhere to these Regulations in the Fife area are:
- Shell Expro, Fife NGL Plant, Mossmorran
- ExxonMobil Chemical, Fife Ethylene Plant, Mossmorran
- Shell Expro Process Area, Braefoot Bay Marine Terminal
- ExxonMobil Chemical Process Area, Braefoot Bay Marine Terminal
- Diageo, Banbeath, Leven
- Defence Storage and Distribution Agency, Crombie
Q. How does the council intend to deal with a terrorist attack if it happens in Fife?
The council works closely with the emergency services to consider and plan for all likely community risks which could affect Fife. They jointly exercise plans and arrangements and train staff on a regular basis.
Q. Where can I get the best advice on flooding?
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has very useful information on how to prepare for flooding on its website (www.sepa.org.uk). Your house insurance company should also be able to provide you with information. You can also take a quick look at our web page link below for more information:
Q. Will the council provide me with sandbags in the event of flooding?
The council encourages householders to be prepared for flooding if they are in a known flood area. However, flash flooding is happening more often and all homeowners should be making arrangements to look after their own properties and their families. There are companies such as builder's merchants who can provide you with specific flood defence products.
In emergencies, the council will provide a range of support measures for the Emergency Services including, where possible, the provision of sandbags and / or the facility for collection of sandbags from local depots during an emergency. Please use the flooding link below which will take you to our web pages on Fifedirect:
Q. What happens if I need to be evacuated? Where will I go?
The Emergency Services will normally request the council's Duty Emergency Planning Officer to identify suitable premises for use as an emergency rest centre. The council has the responsibility to provide care and welfare for people affected by emergencies.
If the police evacuate people they provide details of the emergency rest centre's location or arrange for transportation to the rest centre. Some people may not want to go to a centre and can contact friends and/or relatives to arrange to stay with them until they can return home safely. Please use the link below to read more about emergency centres on our web pages on Fifedirect:
Q. What is a rest centre?
A emergency rest centre is a building identified and operated by the local authority for temporary care and welfare of people who have been displaced in an emergency. The council has over 30 identified emergency rest centres across Fife and include high schools and community centres. Volunteers from council staff teams have been trained in managing and operating an emergency centre. However depending on the urgency of the incident the police may decide that the nearest safest most suitable building should be used as a 'place of safety' - this could be a church hall or primary school.
Q. Why do people evacuate to a rest centre?
In certain circumstances, a major incident may require the emergency services to deal with large numbers of people displaced / evacuated as a result of the incident.
When the police are dealing with a current incident and have made the decision that an emergency centre should be set up, they will ask the council to arrange this. The council have an Emergency Centre Plan which details contingency arrangements to assist the emergency services through the provision of staffed emergency rest centres and other relevant supporting arrangements.
If you would like to read more about emergency centres please use the link below which will take you to our web pages on Fifedirect:
Q. Do I have to remain in the rest centre?
No, you can come and go as you need to and return only if you still require the safety and shelter of the rest centre. We would ask you to inform the rest centre staff if you decide not to return to the centre.
Q. What will happen to my pets?
At the time of evacuation you will be asked to make arrangements for your pets. You could move them to the upper floor of your property for safety or ask a friend/relative to look after them. The rest centre will not be able to accommodate everyone's pets. It may be that local vets / kennels / catteries / SPCA etc may be willing to take your pets.
Q. What should I do when I arrive?
We will need to ask you for your name and a few other brief details and will then provide you with an ID number and a Registration Record form to complete. The ID number records your arrival in the centre and allows us to identify you throughout your stay.
The police may also require access to your Registration information to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for. It also allows the police to inform any enquiring relatives / friends on your behalf. Of course, if you prefer specific information about you not to be shared then you must inform the centre.
Q. What will be available in the centre?
The emergency centre staff will provide care and welfare for those using the centre as well as refreshments. Services such as Social Work and Housing can be made available if necessary.
Q. Who can I speak to if I have specific questions?
An information/advice desk will be set up to allow you a point of contact where you can ask for information or questions. The centre will maintain links to the Duty Emergency Planning Officer and the emergency services. Every effort will be made to provide information as soon as possible either to you personally or to the whole centre - this may be through use of a notice board and / or a briefing about the situation.
You can speak to any staff in the centre and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Q. How long will I be in the centre for?
Each situation will be different and the emergency centre Manager will let you know as soon as it is safe to leave the centre. If you require emergency accommodation this will be arranged for you through a temporary housing officer.
Tel: 01592 583544 Contact Emergency Resilience Team online