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Preparing for an emergency - Sussex Resilience Forum
COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health emergency and we are all having to move at an incredibly fast pace.
The county’s public and emergency services are working together to support vital services, protect the most vulnerable and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on our communities and businesses.
Our number one priority is preventing death and the protection of public health in Sussex. We must all play our part in the national effort to combat this disease.
The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) has long-established plans to prepare and respond to a pandemic and the Strategic Co-ordinating Group is now meeting daily to coordinate response, resilience and recovery plans for Sussex.
We urge everyone in Sussex to follow Government advice and seek information from trusted sources – your local authority websites or your local news media.
The SRF’s multi-agency executive group, known as the Strategic Co-coordinating Group (SCG), is meeting daily by teleconference to coordinate services and ensure liaison with Government. The meeting is chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller from Sussex Police.
The SCG directs a multi-agency Tactical Co-coordinating Group (TCG) which meets twice weekly and is responsible for the co-ordination of services and plans on the ground.
Eight thematic working groups are currently coordinated by and report to the TCG and these are:
Logistics and Supply Chain
Vulnerable People and Wellbeing
Excess Deaths and Mortality
Escalation Cell (health)
These are well established multi-agency plans and structures which are tested on a regular basis to ensure all services work together, in the most effective way, to protect and support local communities and speed up recovery.
From 31 March onwards local authorities will be launching a network of digital community hubs – putting people who need help in touch with support. Look out for details online or in the local news media.
Community hubs have begun operating across Sussex to bring extra help for people who need support in coping with the effects of coronavirus. The hubs provide online forms and phone lines which anyone can contact to seek help if they are isolated, anxious or unwell at home and do not have family or friends they can call on.
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms of either:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature), or,
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
7 April 2020
Public services across Sussex join forces in “mammoth effort” to respond to Covid-19 pandemic
In an unprecedented effort, public services across Sussex are coming together to protect and support the communities of Sussex in the face of Covid-19.
Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), a multi-agency partnership which includes all emergency services, local authorities and other agencies, is working closely with the military and NHS to co-ordinate the local response to Covid-19 on behalf of the Government.
Drawing on well-rehearsed plans, staff from across the public sector are working side-by-side to ensure that services are being delivered in the best interests of the public, with special attention given to the most vulnerable in communities.
Key areas of focus through the crisis so far have included co-ordinating the work of volunteers, gaining additional supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring Sussex’s most vulnerable have the help they need.
Sussex Local Resilience Forum declares Covid-19 a major incident
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Sussex has been declared a major incident by the body representing the county’s public and emergency services. Sussex Local Resilience Forum (Sussex LRF) is made up of multiple-agencies who work together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies.
The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is a multi-agency partnership whose members have statutory responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, to work together to prepare, respond to and recover from emergencies and major incidents.
A major incident is a widely used term recognised nationally and locally within the SRF and is defined as:
“An event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency”
The Sussex Resilience Forum consists of members from the Emergency Services, National Health Service / Public Health England, Local Authorities, Environment Agency and Military and other government representatives, with comprehensive support from the Voluntary Sector coming together with the principle aim of ‘Making Sussex a Safer Place’
The SRF Executive Committee meets tri-annually to discuss SRF activities and set the strategic direction.
Preparing for emergencies is part of the day-to-day job. This involves:
Risk assessments to assess the type of hazards that might affect Sussex.
Preparing plans to address different types of emergencies.
Training and exercises to test the plans and keep staff up to date.
The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) places a legal duty on the wide range of responders to carry out risk assessments and maintain them in a Community Risk Register.
The assessment of the risks in Community Risk Register is the first step in the emergency planning process; it ensures that planning and other work is carried out in proportion to the risk.
A risk register for Sussex has been published which highlights potential hazards in our area. It does not assess every single risk, instead focusing on those that are most likely to happen and the impact these would have across the county.
Following the recent publication of the new National Risk Assessment the Sussex Resilience Forum Risk and Horizon Scanning Working Group is reviewing and updating the Community Risk Register.
This has detailed information which aims to help you think about what you can do to be better prepared for emergencies which could affect your homes, communities and businesses. It includes information on our top risks.
There are important differences among potential emergencies that will affect the decisions you make and the actions you take.
In an emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is to go inside a safe building (close windows, turn off any air-conditioning or ventilation equipment), stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to local radio or TV for information.
Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
Do not put yourself or others in danger.
Follow the advice of the emergency services.
Try to remain calm and think before acting.
Try to reassure others.
Emergency responders may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.
Businesses can be affected by a whole number of issues including loss of utilities, loss of IT systems and extreme weather. The Business Continuity ToolkitExternal Link could help you recover from a crisis.