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Major Emergencies

Any emergency incident that requires use of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services is classed as a major emergency. Preparing for the worst can help reduce the effects of a major emergency and ensure that normal daily activity can be restored as quickly as possible.


  • In the event of an emergency that threatens life, dial 999

Emergency services are usually the first to respond to an emergency. However, the Council provides an important support role through the provision of assistance and resources to lessen the impact on those affected by the incident.

  • If you need to contact us in the event of an emergency, please call 020 8489 0000.

This page provides background information on emergencies and how they are responded to in the following sections:

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What is an Emergency?

An emergency is defined in part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) as:

"An event or situation which threatens damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment or a place in the UK, or warn or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK."

Emergencies that have affected the borough include fires, flooding, the heavy snowfall of February 2009/December 2009-January 2010, and Swine Flu (H1N1).

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How does the Council know when an Emergency has occurred?

The Council usually receives information regarding any type of emergency from the Emergency Services, and therefore notification of an emergency is also likely to come via this route.

Whether this information arrives during or outside working hours, the person receiving the call will immediately contact the relevant stand-by officers according to the nature of the incident. The Emergency Planning Officer will also be contacted if there is any suggestion that the incident is a major one.

For the purposes of Haringey Council’s Emergency Plan, an emergency will be deemed to have taken place if it’s declared as such by an officer acting under the authority of the Chief Executive or a nominated deputy.

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What does the Council do in an Emergency?

There are a number of roles within the Council’s response to an emergency:

  • Incident Controller: This is usually the Chief Executive or an appointed deputy and will coordinate the Council’s response during all stages of an emergency
  • Borough Emergency Control Centre: This is a designated location from which all the activities involved by various Council departments can be coordinated
  • Local Authority Liaison Officer (LALO): This officer attends the scene of an incident to liaise with the Emergency Services
  • Emergency Response Officer (ERO): All departments that may have a role in responding to an emergency have a nominated officer. This officer holds a pager and can be alerted and called out as required
  • Rest Centre Manager: Runs the rest centre which residents attend if they have to evacuate and relay any issues to the Borough Emergency Control Centre
  • Rest Centre Volunteers: These are Council Officers that assist residents with their needs at a Rest Centre
  • During a major incident the Council will maintain their normal day-to-day services to the local community. If the Council itself is affected by the emergency, this will be managed in accordance with the Haringey Council Business Continuity Plan.

Activities the Council may undertake during an emergency:

  • Provide support to the Emergency Services
  • Provide support and care for the local and wider community
  • Use resources to mitigate the effects of an emergency
  • Co-ordinate the response by organisations other than the Emergency Services

Some of the services the Council may provide at the scene of an emergency are:

  • Traffic management
  • Emergency repair to highways
  • Providing information to the Police from CCTV
  • Emergency lighting
  • Flood management
  • Emergency housing repairs
  • Waste management and street cleansing

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What do the Emergency Services do in an Emergency?

The role of the Emergency Services in an emergency is outlined in the London Emergency Services Liaison Panel (LESLP) Manual which can be found in the external link section.


  • To secure, protect and preserve the scene of the incident
  • The collection and distribution of casualty information
  • To control sightseers and traffic through the use of cordons
  • Short term measures to restore normality


  • Life saving through search and rescue
  • Salvage and damage control, including fire fighting
  • Safety management within the inner cordon
  • Detection, identification, monitoring and management of hazardous materials and protecting the environment


  • To provide treatment, stabilisation and care of those injured at the scene
  • To provide appropriate transport, medical staff, equipment and resources
  • To arrange the most appropriate means of transporting those injured to the receiving and specialist hospitals
  • To provide a focal point at the incident for all National Health Service (NHS) and other medical resources

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Recovering from an Emergency

During the initial stages of an emergency, the Emergency Services will have the lead responsibility. In the Recovery Phase, the responsibility will usually be passed to the Council.

The five key aspects of Recovery are:

  • Rebuilding the community
  • Managing the financial implications
  • Managing resources
  • Responding to community welfare needs
  • Developing strategic issues

The Council will work with other agencies, partners and organisations to ensure the community can recover from any emergency.

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Page Last Updated:

26 August 2015

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