Emergency contact numbers
Telephone - 01254 585585
Emergency - 999
Preparing for emergencies
During a major emergency, the responding emergency services, local authority and other agencies may not be able to reach everybody right away. Therefore it is vital that families, individuals and communities take action to prepare themselves and their families for emergency situations.
Emergencies can happen quickly and without warning
It could mean the loss of basic services including water, gas, power and telephones.
It may mean damage or threat of damage to your property by flooding, fire, blast.
The emergency services may need to evacuate your home, or indeed your whole neighbourhood, or possibly even confine you to your property until the danger has passed.
The Government and emergency response agencies are working hard to ensure they are as prepared as they can be in the event of an emergency but it is important that you are ready too. By being informed and prepared, you can significantly reduce the risk to you, your family, and your community.
Planning ahead is something we all do in our everyday lives in case things go wrong or don't turn out the way we expected. Preparing for emergencies is much the same – it’s about being ready for bad situations should they happen.
What is an emergency?
An event or situation which threatens serious damage to:
- human welfare in a place in the UK
- the environment of a place in the UK
- war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK.
It will require a response beyond the everyday resources of the emergency services and those departments and organisations that support them.
An emergency cannot normally be predicted and can come in any form:
- Severe Weather
- Natural Disaster
- Technological/Industrial Accidents
- Power failures
It can happen very suddenly, for example, an aircraft crash, or have a more gradual onset, for example flooding following a period of heavy rain. It may be from a natural cause or one that is ‘man-made’.
What types of emergencies have Blackburn with Darwen been involved with?
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has been involved with responding to requests for assistance from the community and the emergency services. The Council has assisted in the response emergencies such as: flooding, severe weather, snow, power outages & evacuations
What type of emergencies does Blackburn with Darwen plan for?
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has a corporate response plan but does hold specific plans for incidents such as: Floods, Heatwave, Pandemic Flu
In an emergency...
In the event of an emergency, especially where there is an immediate threat to life or property, you should call the emergency service on 999.
You should remain calm, be patient, and deal with the important things first.
- Do not put yourself or others in danger
- Always follow the instructions given by the emergency services
- Remain calm, think before acting. Consider the hazards!
- Check for injuries - remember to attend to yourself before attempting to help others
- Be aware of the needs of others especially children, the elderly and vulnerable. Try to assist where possible and offer reassurance to others involved in the incident.
During an emergency, the emergency services and other responding agencies will primarily be concerned with those directly involved in the incident as well as the family and friends of any casualties.
It is vitally important that the responding agencies are allowed to get on with their task quickly and safely – their priority is the rescue operation. All agencies will be working to alleviate the effects of the emergency on the community whilst continuing to deliver essential and critical public services.
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What can I do to prepare for an emergency?
ICE - In Case of Emergency
Put "ICE" in your mobile phone – this involves putting the acronym ICE in front of designated emergency contact numbers i.e. ICE Joe or ICE mum.
In case of an emergency situation, the emergency service personnel can call your emergency "ICE" contact and inform them of your situation.
Where will I get information or up to date advice on an emergency?
"Go In, Stay In, Tune In"
This is the national advice given to anyone caught up in an emergency situation.
You should "Go Indoors, Stay Indoors and Tune Into" the local radio.
If you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, in most cases the advice is to, Go in, Stay in, Tune in!
Close all doors and windows and stay inside until you are advised the emergency is over. Listen to local radio for information updates!
There may be situations when it's simply best to stay inside and avoid any uncertainty outside.
Local radio has a responsibility to support the emergency services in getting real and relevant advice out to the Community. So the Police, Lancs County Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, and Blackburn with Darwen Council will use radio stations to inform everyone on what to do, where to go and what actions they are taking whilst responding to the incident.
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Prepare yourself against flooding
Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the Council is designated as a Leading local flood authority. As such the Council has a duty to investigate flooding incidents within its area which are considered "necessary and appropriate" to investigate and determine which agencies or individuals have responsibility for taking remedial action.
Instances of excessive surface water and flooding of gullies, roads and properties should be reported to Highway services on 01254 273829.
For more information please visit the Environment agency flood advice pages.
I’ve heard about “flood warnings” on the news what are they?
Flood warnings are the method by which the Environment Agency warns of the likelihood of flooding in your area.
They come in 3 different levels – have a look at the Environment Agency website for more information
- Flood alert
- Flood warning
- Severe flood warning
You can receive flood warnings either direct to your telephone or mobile by text - sign up to the Environment Agency Flood Warnings Direct (FWD) scheme and they will alert you to potential forecast and actual flooding in your area.
How do I sign up?
Call 0845 988 1188 to sign up. You can also call Floodline (or Typetalk) on 0845 602 6340 for simple advice on what to do, before, during and after a flood.
How do I prepare myself and my family from floods?
If you live in an area which floods from the river or from blocked drains, it is a good idea to prepare yourself for flooding by putting together a waterproof flood bag (carrier bag/bag for life) or plastic box containing the following -
- Copy of insurance documents, personal documents & photos
- Basic first aid kit
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Spare medication and/or prescriptions
- Spare batteries
- Spare charger for your mobile phone
- Packet of sweets……
Remember flood water is dirty, full of bacteria and will ruin anything that gets wet. Keep the box or bag in a safe place and make sure that everyone in the home knows what is in the box or bag and where it is kept.
How do I protect my home?
- You are responsible for protecting your own property from flooding. This means being prepared in terms of protecting your home, by purchasing "flood boards", air brick covers, having a stock of sandbags or knowing where you can obtain them.
- The Yellow Pages will have valuable information under 'Builders Merchants', 'Sack and Bag', 'DIY Stores' or ring The Builders Centre 0800 529529 for your local store. Flood boards and other flood protection products are listed in the "blue pages directory" compiled by the National Flood Forum
When flooding happens…..
Information about what the Emergency Services or the Local Authority is doing to help you will be broadcast regularly on local radio. Tune in to the radio stations below to help us get information to you in times of emergency.
Who is responsible for protecting my home from floods?
- The owner of a property is responsible for protecting their own property against flooding.
- If you are a tenant it will be your landlord who is responsible for protecting the property.
- The Environment Agency is responsible for flooding from rivers.
- Blackburn with Darwen Capita Highways Department has the responsibility to ensure that the roads in the Borough are kept free from flood water as far as reasonably practicable.
- Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
- May be able to advise regarding localised flooding from ditches, pipes and culverts.
- Can take legal action against landowners to resolve flooding issues, where legal intervention is required.
Does the Council have to provide sandbags?
Local councils do not have a legal obligation to store or provide the public with sandbags. If your property is susceptible to flooding you should be prepared to protect your property using a variety of flood protection products. Advice and guidance on many types of flood protection products can be found at National Flood Forum.
In a flood situation the emergency services, local authorities and public utility services will try to help where they can, but ultimately the responsibility to protect a property against flooding lies with the owner
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Snow Clearance - Government Advice
Can I clear snow from the pavement – won’t someone sue me?
There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's unlikely that you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have a responsibility to be careful themselves.
What can I do to help clear snow and ice from pavements and public spaces?
- Start early: it is much easier to remove fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
- Do not use hot water. This will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
- Be a good neighbour: some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths leading to their property.
- If shovelling snow, consider where you are going to put it, so that it does not block people's paths, or block drainage channels.
- Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then you can shovel the snow from the center to the sides.
- Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help to prevent any ice forming. Table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it.
- Particular care and attention should be given to steps and steep gradients to ensure snow and ice is removed.
- Use the sun to your advantage. Removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing overnight.
- If there is no salt available, then a little sand or ash is a reasonable substitute. It will not have the same de-icing properties as salt but should offer grip under foot.
Where can I information and see pictures of where there is snow?
If you want to keep updated with weather reports, sign up to our BwD Weather Watch Facebook page that keeps residents informed if the temperatures plummet.
The page is kept updated with all news and information relating to the weather including up to date forecasts, gritting, any school closures and bin collection arrangements throughout the winter months.
- Blackburn with Darwen Council provides a winter service from October through to March.
- Our staff work round the clock during the winter months to keep the roads clear.
- We monitor the weather closely and where temperatures are due to plummet below zero, we spread salt on the roads to prevent ice and snow forming.
- If snow settles, then the ploughs are used to clear the roads.
- Salt bins are also provided at certain locations to assist road users and residents on a self-help basis.
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The Council works towards raising awareness about how to prepare for emergencies in the community.
The information below can be used to find out more about how you can “help yourself” in an emergency.
Community risk register
The Council has to make an assessment of the risks found within the local area and produces a "Community Risk Register" in order to plan how to respond either on our own or with partners i.e. Police and Fire service.
A countywide version is available from Lancashire County Council – emergency planning.
The Context document has been produced by the Civil Contingencies team, whilst undertaking the duty to carry out risk assessments in partnership with other responders, which is one of the 7 duties within the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is a Category 1 responder.
The Context Document and Annexures aims to describe the characteristics of Blackburn with Darwen that may affect the likelihood and impact of an emergency occurring in the community and places the Community Risk Register (CRR) of hazards and threats in context. These documents in turn assist in helping us to identify any gaps, how we mitigate against these gaps and use this information to inform contingency planning.
View the Context Document (2MB)
The annexures are a summary of the risks and prominent areas for each of the 3 neighbourhood sections:
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What is the Council's role in a major emergency?
To plan and prepare for emergencies, train staff to respond in times of emergency, work in partnership with external partners, and endeavour to provide a "normal" service whilst responding.
Voluntary Organisations that BwD works in partnership with
The following links are to those organisations that provide valuable support services during a response to an emergency situation.
Other organisations that BwD works in partnership with
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