Emergency planning risk assessment

One of the duties imposed upon Local Authorities under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) is to assess the risk of an emergency occurring within or affecting their geographical area. This duty is discharged at the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) level and is a collaborative evaluation of risk used to inform emergency planning, business continuity and warning and informing the public. Risk assessment for the London Borough of Richmond is conducted through the Risk working group of the South West London LRF. You can view the South West London Community Risk Register here.

The Borough Contingencies unit uses the results of the risk assessment to determine its work streams. For example we spend the majority of our time planning for flooding, pandemics and loss of or interruption to utilities.

The purpose of the duty is to:

  • ensure that responding agencies have an accurate and shared understanding of the risks they face;
  • provide a rational basis for prioritising objectives, work programmes and resources;
  • enable responding agencies to assess their plans and capabilities;
  • facilitate joined-up local planning, based on consistent planning assumptions;
  • inform and reflect regional and national risk assessments.

Risk assessment work in London to date

Risk working groups incorporating various responding agencies (such as emergency services, local authorities, health agencies, government departments, transport companies and utilities) have met regularly to assess the likelihood and impact of hazards in each of London’s six LRF areas.

Summaries of the social, geographic and economic features of each area have been produced. Potential non-malicious hazards have been identified and lead assessors will carry out detailed risk assessments.

The six working groups have undertaken impact and likelihood assessments for a range of risks provided by central government guidance. Impact is assessed across four categories - Health, Social, Economic and Environmental factors, using a scoring system of 1 to 5, where 1 is an insignificant and 5 is catastrophic.

Likelihood scores are provided on a national basis by lead agencies and government departments.

Lead Assessors

Responding agencies work on specific hazards in each LRF area. For consistency, Lead Assessors have been co-ordinated across the six Local Resilience Forums in London.

Organisations have been allocated hazards which sit naturally within their areas of responsibility (for instance major fires and explosions have been allocated to the Fire Brigade, and flooding to the Environment Agency).

Updated: 4 August 2009