Before Flooding

From the perspective of being prepared for emergencies, and in line with our responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the authority carries out the following tasks prior to any major flood incident:
  • Maintain and exercise a multi-agency flood response and recovery plan with partners to ensure that it is fit for purpose and will deliver an effective response and recovery during any major flood incident.
  • Ensure adequate resources are in place to provide sandbags to the public in line with the Council’s Flood Mitigation Policy.
  • As we move into the Flood Alert and Warning stages, our Highways and Streetscene Services start to prepare sandbags in preparation for distribution to residents and businesses as appropriate. They will also at this stage assist the EA with the monitoring of waterways, and flooding hotspots, and ensuring that staff and resources such as gully suckers are available to deploy as required.
  • Work with our partners in the Environment Agency to raise awareness with the public about what they can do to prepare for flooding incidents, and what safety actions to take in the event of. We do this in a number of ways including through Cheshire Resilience, where our handy Emergency Pocket Leaflet (EPL) can be downloaded as well as a Household Emergency Life-saving Plan (HELP) template.
  • Our authority has also this year been raising awareness of Community Resilience, and Community Emergency Plans with Parish and Town Councils across the borough, with the aspirational outcome being local communities that are more resilient to future severe weather incidents including flooding.

During Flooding

​Local Authority resources will be used to carry out or assist in the carrying out of any other measures, which will minimise the effects of flooding on the public and/or the environment.

The Local Authority will mobilise, deploy and use the services and resources of the Council to the level considered necessary in accordance with the Council’s Major Emergency Plan and to respond to calls for assistance either initiated by members of the public or the Emergency Services. Priority will always be given to provide assistance to protect/minimise the damage to residential premises.

The Council will also be responsible for:

  • Assisting the Police to carry out evacuation measures;
  • Provision of short term emergency shelter and assistance whilst also arranging longer term accommodation (if necessary) for evacuees and the homeless, through the organisation and management of reception/ rest centres and a Humanitarian Assistance Centre
  • Maintaining essential services to vulnerable members of the community
  • Arranging and carrying out, if necessary, engineering works measures, e.g. road or bridge repairs
  • Liaising with the Environment Agency and other agencies/ utilities as appropriate as part of the multi-agency command and control structure
  • Liaising with the media as part of the multi-agency media strategy.

After Flooding

The local authority will lead the multi-agency and community recovery efforts in the aftermath of any major flooding. There are five aspects to recovery:
  • Rebuilding the community
  • Managing the financial implications
  • Managing resources
  • Responding to community welfare needs
  • Developing strategic issues
The Recovery Phase will follow the end to the threat of any further flooding, with preparation for the Recovery Phase beginning at the earliest opportunity prior to the end of the flooding incident. At the commencement of the Recovery Phase stage the co-ordination of the response is likely to be handed over from the Police Incident Commander at the Joint Technical Co-ordination Centre to the Local Authority (Chief Executive or Deputy) at the Emergency Centre and will be signed for. Depending upon the scale of the recovery issues that need to be addressed, the Recovery Working Group that would be established could possibly include representatives from the following organisations:
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Cheshire Constabulary
  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Environment Agency
  • NHS
  • Health Protection Agency
  • National Grid
  • United Utilities
  • Canal and River Trust (formerly British Waterways)
  • SP Energy Networks
And any other appropriate organisations that may need to be engaged in the recovery phase (possibly including):
  • British Red Cross
  • Churches Together
  • Raynet
  • St John Ambulance
  • Salvation Army
  • Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS)
  • Central Government
Other agencies could be co-opted as necessary e.g. Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

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