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Emergency planning in Middlesbrough

Plans are made to ensure that Middlesbrough Council's support to the Emergency Services and community during the life-saving and recovery phases of an incident is as effective as possible. The council aims to provide necessary services to those affected by the incident, whilst also maintaining its essential day to day functions.

The Middlesbrough Major Incident Plan is a generic plan written to cover many different types of incident; in it we plan for the effects on people and the environment, not the cause of the incident. This allows the plan to be used in a wide range of situations.

A senior council manager is responsible for each section of the Middlesbrough Major Incident Plan. In addition Middlesbrough Council employs a full-time Emergency Planning Officer (EPO) to ensure that the plan is coordinated and that arrangements are in place. The EPO also takes the lead in producing specialist plans such as for those for industrial incidents.

Are there any specific plans?

Yes. The EPO and council officers produce a range of plans for specific incidents. These include industrial off-site plans covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) 2015, the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR) 2001, and the Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996.

Other specific plans include the running of rest centres, temporary mortuaries, and responding to oil pollution.

Where are the sites that are planned for under COMAH?

Within Middlesbrough there are 2 sites that are planned for under the COMAH Regulations. Our colleagues in neighbouring authorities also produce plans to cover areas such as Seal Sands and Wilton International that could have an effect on Middlesbrough.

When are these plans used?

As well as during an incident the plans are regularly exercised and tested with members of the emergency services and partner agencies. They cover not only the incident but also the recovery from any incident.

How is the council made aware of an incident?

Normally the emergency services would contact the Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit (CEPU). The Unit has a duty officer system which provides a response to any potential or actual incident, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The CEPU officer will then cascade the message into the council and its partners. Members of the public should report an incident by calling 999.

What should I do in an incident or emergency?

If you're made aware of an incident you should: 

1. Go indoors

2. Stay inside, closing doors and windows

3. Tune in to local radio and television for further information

4. Follow the instructions of the emergency services if you're told to evacuate your home.

What about evacuation?

Evacuation is considered a last resort; depending on the incident you are often safer inside your home or place of work. When requested to evacuate, follow the instructions given by the emergency services exactly; they are for your safety.

Do major incidents occur regularly in the area?

No, but as with anywhere in the country, the potential is there, which is why we have an Emergency Planning Unit which ensures we are ready to respond when required.