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Shelter or Evacuate? Alan Goodwin Deputy Chief Constable ACPO Emergency Procedures Committee. Introduction. Risk Based Planning – National/Regional/Local Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Duty to produce Community Risk Register Duty to plan and exercise accordingly

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Shelter or Evacuate?

Alan Goodwin

Deputy Chief Constable

ACPO Emergency Procedures Committee

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  • Risk Based Planning – National/Regional/Local

  • Civil Contingencies Act 2004

    • Duty to produce Community Risk Register

    • Duty to plan and exercise accordingly

  • Shelter and Evacuation as options

  • Generic considerations

    • No Case Studies – valuable to workshop discussions

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National Risk Assessment

  • “Mass” Evacuation

    • National advice or decision making involved

    • Highly unlikely due to risks involved

  • Large Scale Evacuation

    • Regional/National support may be needed

    • E.g. Flooding, Transport/Utilities failure, industrial accidents, acts of terrorism.

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Local Planning

  • Much already in place

    • COMAH, Sports venues, City/Town Centres

  • Scaleable Flexibility

    • Generic planning capable of scaling up/down

  • Quality Assurance

    • Interdependencies, conflicts, integration with neighbouring areas

    • Planning & Exercising regime

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Purpose of Evacuation

  • “To move people and, where appropriate, other living creatures away from an actual or potential danger to a safer place.”(CCS Draft Guidance unpublished)

  • Always the preferred option?

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Shelter or Evacuate?

  • Often better to shelter in buildings in response to events.

  • Challenges of Shelter

    • Supporting dependent people in their homes.

    • Maintenance of key services.

    • Potential for spontaneous self-evacuation.

    • Rational people doing irrational things.

  • Decision for Gold Commander based on prevailing circumstances. Dynamic Risk Assessment.

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Shelter or Evacuate?

  • Evacuation requires a well co-ordinated multi agency response.

  • People require to leave their homes must be supported and reassured.

  • Considerations:

    • Where are they going to?

    • How will we get them there?

    • How long will they be there for?

    • How will they and their homes be protected?

    • How will we communicate with them and others affected by the evacuation?

  • Plan before the Decision!

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Planning Considerations (1)

  • Logistics

    • are the necessary resources available to deliver the plan? (e.g. are individual elements predicated upon the same police resources?)

    • Is there a reliance on military MACA? Is it realistic?

  • Infrastructure

    • Is the necessary transport infrastructure still in place?

    • Are key communications channels still available?

  • People and Places

    • Vulnerable people in communities

    • High risk premises – hospitals, prisons, schools.

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Planning Considerations (2)

  • Command & Control Arrangements

    • Strategic Coordinating Group (“Gold”)

    • Role of Regional Government Office

    • Central Government arrangements (CONOPS)

  • Mutual Aid Arrangements

    • Police - PNICC activation

    • Local Authorities - reciprocal resource sharing

  • Role of Voluntary Sector

    • Transportation

    • Assistance at rest centres

    • Social and welfare support

  • Media Strategy

    • Key Messages

    • Access to evacuees

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Legal Considerations

  • Compulsory Evacuation?

    • No Police Powers to order evacuation

    • CC Act Emergency Powers? Unlikely (e.g. Triton)

    • US experience – mandatory evacuation problematic

    • Effective & persuasive media strategies essential.

  • Local Authority Housing Duty?

    • Displaced people but for how long?

    • Relationship with outsourced housing providers?

  • Animal Welfare?

    • Legislation relating to livestock, zoos and pets.

    • How DO we evacuate a family of giraffes?

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Warning & Informing

  • Communication Strategies

    • Any decision to shelter or evacuate must be underpinned by a robust communication strategy.

    • People need to know what they need to do.

  • Duty under CC Act 2004

    • Local responders must have arrangements in place to warn and inform the public in times of emergency.

    • Utilise Regional Media Emergency Forum. Links to Government News Network.

    • Consider mirroring RMEF at Local level.

    • Exercise communication plans in their own right.

  • Role of Gold Command

    • Early delivery of communications strategy when considering shelter or evacuation.

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  • Cabinet Office Evacuation Guidance

    • Conferences/Booklets now

    • Guidance/Policy issues early Summer

    • Will incorporate issues discussed today


  • Evacuation or Shelter is a Command Decision

    • Part of contingency planning wherever possible

    • Requires dynamic risk assessment as events unfold.

    • Consider short and long term impact of decisions.