How would you deal with an emergency?
Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is vital in an emergency situation.
And local Community Emergency Groups play an important role when things go badly wrong.
Of the 550 or so town and parish councils in Lincolnshire around 180 groups work in partnership with the county council before, during and after emergency incidents. Recently a new text alert system has been tested that gives community emergency groups important information in the event of an emergency enabling them to communicate directly with the County Emergency Centre.
Lincolnshire County Council's Emergency Planning Service plans, prepares and responds to emergency incidents ensuring we all have a safe place to live and work.
Flooding, severe weather, pandemic flu and malicious acts are just some of the potential emergencies that organisations in Lincolnshire could be called on to deal with, and the Emergency Planning Service makes sure everything is in place to do that quickly. Working behind the scenes, when an emergency situation arises, their preparation, training and readiness play a vital role.
Emergency Planning Officer Steve Eason-Harris works closely with communities across the county, advising how to set up community emergency planning groups and, once established, provides the ongoing support and training they may need.
Steve said:"Community Emergency Groups play a really important role in emergency response as getting the right information to the right people at the right time can save lives, livelihoods and the environment.The local knowledge they hold is vital and for those communities which are prepared research suggests that they may recover faster from an incident than those without one."
Community groups are encouraged to be involved in multi-agency exercises such as a rehearsal for an oil spill response on the East Coast, a train crash scenario or flooding.
Lincolnshire's main risks are: 1 pandemic flu; 2. East Coast flooding; 3 inland flooding; 4 impacts from disease/contamination; 5 severe weather; 6 loss of critical infrastructure; 7 fuel shortages; 8 malicious acts
Any community group can come together to form a local voluntary emergency planning group and develop an emergency plan for their area. For more information about creating an emergency plan call 01522 582220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lincolnshire-prepared for further information.
Photograph: exercise Grey Seal - Oil Pollution clean-up Mablethorpe.