Emergency planning operates within the framework of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (new window) which sets down a clear set of roles and responsibilities for local responders.
The Emergency Planning Service is located in the Chief Executive Office. The service is responsible for ensuring that the council has emergency response arrangements in place to enable it to respond effectively in times of crisis.
When a major incident or serious emergency takes place, West Lothian Council has an important role in assisting everyone in the community to cope with, and recover from, its effects. Recent incidents have included flooding, a gas explosion, loss of utilities and fires involving acetylene cylinders. Depending on the incident, the council can provide assistance such as:
- Emergency Rest Centres for people evacuated from their homes
- Additional plant and equipment
- A control centre to co-ordinate the reponse
- Advice on potentially dangerous structures or buildings
- Advice and guidance during the incident and in the aftermath and recovery period
This will involve the council's own services working together with other agencies, in particular the police, fire, ambulance and health services.
During an emergency, information will be made available to the public as quickly as possible, via the local media and via the council website.