Other general hazards and emergencies and responses.
Marine and Coastal pollution
Marine and coastal pollution is a hazard in Northumberland. The level of risk of an oil pollution incident ranges from “high” to “low”, based on how likely it is to occur and the potential impact on the environment, our economy, public health and social wellbeing. For more information visit the ‘risks’ section of the community risk register.
Nearly the entire intertidal zone of the Northumberland coast is included in sites of special scientific
interests (SSSIs) or other environmental protection designations.
We have contingency plans in place to protect these special areas from pollution, especially oil pollution. The plans include measures to limit the effects of pollution, including dispersing, containing and disposing of oil.
Further details about oil pollution contingency plans:
Hazardous substances and natural gas
Some businesses, which store or process hazardous substances, are required by law to inform people who live nearby of the risks associated with hazardous sites.
This requirement currently applies to the following site:
- Campact Ltd, (within EGGER UK site), Anick Grange Road, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4JS.
If you live in the immediate vicinity of the above site you should have received an information card from the company. Make sure that you and everyone who lives in your property understand the information and advice, so you can take the appropriate action if an accident happens. If you have not received their information card, contact the company.
Natural gas pipeline system
The operator for the notified major accident hazard pipelines in this area is Northern Gas Networks (NGN). For more information and guidance on natural gas emergencies, click here
Providing humanitarian assistance
Northumberland County Council provides humanitarian assistance during and after emergencies. Humanitarian assistance is the ability to provide a virtual ‘one stop shop’ for information in the aftermath of an emergency.
It should provide those affected, directly or indirectly, by the emergency with as much information and help as is possible in a convenient and accessible medium or location.
- View the Northumberland County Council humanitarian assistance guidance here.
Dealing with emergencies
Providing reception and rest centres
During an emergency in Northumberland, it will usually be Northumberland County Council’s responsibility to prepare for and establish reception or rest centres. Reception or rest centres will usually be established following a request from the police or another uniformed organisation.
The Northumberland County Council reception / rest centre guidance aims to provide those called upon to establish and manage a rest centre during an emergency with a structured and agreed process to ensure it is done effectively and efficiently.
Why might a reception or rest centre be needed?
A reception / rest centre or centres may be required for the safe evacuation and shelter of people or uninjured survivors affected by an emergency or anticipated emergency situation which threatens life, property or the environment.
Experience of previous emergency situations shows the care and support for evacuees and uninjured survivors prior to, during and / or after any emergency situation is important to the individuals and community’s recovery and welfare.
Why is the reception/rest centre guidance publicly available?
Due to the geographic size of Northumberland, it may take time to get a full complement of rest centre personnel on site. By making the reception/rest centre guidance document publicly available, partner organisations and/or members of the public have the information they need to self-help and build community resilience until support becomes available.
Responsibility for reception and rest centres
Within the reception/rest centre guidance, Northumberland County Council acknowledges the reliance on the support of other agencies and the community / voluntary sector in delivering services to and in rest centres. However, Northumberland County Council can only accept responsibility for those centres which it specifically establishes and authorises in response to an emergency
Recovery and restoration after an emergency
Northumberland County Council has developed recovery and restoration guidance to provide an effective framework to facilitate an integrated response by the county council, and its partner organisations, to mitigate and alleviate the effects of any emergency which disrupts the normal provision of services following an emergency.
Planning for recovery and restoration actually begins while the emergency is ongoing. This work has no fixed timeline and may go on for days, weeks, months or longer, depending on the impacts of the emergency and the needs of the communities affected.
View the recovery and restoration guidance here
How is the recovery and restoration plan used?
The county council’s recovery and restoration plan outlines basic principles for planning and implementing actions as part of the recovery and restoration phases of an emergency. The Plan can be implemented after any emergency, regardless of the size or location of the emergency. The actual level of recovery and restoration activity will be proportionate to the impacts and effects of the emergency and will take into account not only the physical damage which might occur but also:
health and welfare
business and economy
financial and legal
The recovery and restoration guidance has been developed in a format that takes account of advice contained in "emergency preparedness" and "emergency response and recovery" guidance within the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
How can businesses prepare for an emergency?
Consider your business continuity management
Business continuity management (BCM) is a management process through which potential threats to
an organisation and its business operations are identified and controlled as far as is practicable. This
enables a business to develop plans to ensure that it can continue delivering key services during
emergencies and business interruptions. This in turn safeguards the interests of key stakeholders, and
the business’ reputation and brand.
Business continuity enables businesses to:
· identify the impacts of an operational disruption
· put arrangements and procedures in place to allow them to continue business during a
· maintain the ability to manage uninsurable risks
· encourage staff to have a better understanding of how the organisation operates
· have the ability to validate their arrangements and procedures through a testing and
How can business continuity benefit your organisation?
The benefits of an effective BCM programme are that the organisation:
· is able to proactively identify the impacts of an operational disruption
· has in place an effective response to disruptions which minimises the impact on the
· maintains an ability to manage uninsurable risks
· encourages cross team working
· is able to demonstrate a credible response through a process of exercising
· could enhance its reputation; and might gain a competitive advantage, conferred by the
demonstrated ability to maintain delivery
Prepare your business now - develop a business continuity programme
To make a success of your business continuity programme there are a series of steps to follow, as
identified by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). Following these steps on an annual basis will
assist you in creating business continuity plans and arrangements that are valid, fit-for-purpose and
which will add value to your organisation.
1. Understand the organisation
2. Determine Business Continuity strategies
3. Develop and implement a Business Continuity response
4. Exercise, maintain and review Business Continuity arrangements
5. Embed Business Continuity into the culture of the organisation
Please see the business continuity leaflet for further information and guidance on how to implement
a business continuity programme and how to develop a business continuity plan.
Business Continuity Leaflet
Business Continuity Survival Guide
Business Continuity for Dummies
Business Impact Analysis Template
Business Continuity Institute
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