Guide Corporate emergency response plan

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7. Emergency management centre

Location of the Emergency Centre

The Emergency Centre is located at Blackdown House, Honiton

Role of the Emergency Centre

The purpose of the Emergency Centre is to help co-ordinate the Council’s overall response to a major emergency. It acts as the initial point of contact for external agencies and as a focal point for:

  • Establishing what has happened
  • Identifying the actual and possible consequences
  • Establishing what the Council must do and what it can do
  • Establishing what the other agencies are doing / not doing
  • Providing accurate information to senior management
  • Monitoring and co-ordinating action being taken by Council Services

Activation of Emergency Centre

The Chief Executive and/or the Emergency Co-ordinator will activate the Emergency Centre.

An Emergency Centre Manager will be tasked with setting up and opening the Emergency Centre.  

When the Emergency Centre is ready to go “live” an activation fax/email should be sent circulated to all relevant CAT 1 responders confirming the contact details. A standard cover sheet is available for this purpose and these can be found on the Emergency Centre Activation Box.

Staffing of the Emergency Centre

An Emergency Centre Manager, relevant Service Managers and a team of Communications Operators will staff the Emergency Centre.

It is envisaged that the Communications Operators will act as assistants to the Nominated Managers who are called into the Emergency Centre to assess the situation and co-ordinate the Council response to the emergency. Their primary role will be to send and receive messages by various means, to keep an accurate log and ensure that information displays are updated.

Telephone Network

IT Services will make the necessary connections to bring telephones on line. Two of the telephones should be dedicated to outgoing calls only. 

Telephone numbers within the Emergency Centre should not be given out to the general public or media as this could lead to an influx of enquires that may prevent essential calls getting through.

Headsets – These will be issued to each operator and it is recommended that you use them, especially when the room is busy to reduce noise levels.

Message Relaying / Log sheets

It is important that the essential parts of any message are accurately recorded and passed onto relevant parties. Details include

  • Details of the caller / person / agency from / to whom the message is received / sent
  • Job title if applicable
  • Contact details for the caller
  • Date & time of call
  • Name of the person(s) the message is for
  • The message itself
  • What action, if any, is required / taken in response to the call

Avoid using abbreviations unless they are recognised standards . Your shorthand may not be common to others and may be open to misinterpretation when someone else reads your message.

All incoming / outgoing calls must be logged. A standard format may be used for this purpose.

The whiteboards may be used to record common contact details or significant events


Information received, discussed and relayed through the Emergency Centre may be of a sensitive and confidential nature and is vital that staff respect this at all times.

Contact Lists

Copies of contact lists, directories and emergency plans for relevant agencies and external organisations can be found in Emergency Centre Activation Box.


Maps of the District and adjoining areas are contained within the Emergency Centre Activation Box.

GIS (Geographic Information System) is also accessible through web map.

Local Authority Services

Whilst the local authority is required to support the emergency services during the initial life-saving phase of an incident it must also continue to provide important daily services and to minimise the disruption to these. The county and district councils will work closely to provide an integrated emergency response and it is beneficial if the Emergency Centre team have some general knowledge of both the structure and functions of county and district councils.