Emergency Response Plan
In 2014 Church Together owned the Emergency Response Plan, but following it’s ending the ER Plan folded as an actionable document. At the request of the Category 1 responders, such as Sussex Police and Fire Service, and the Sussex Resilience Forum, Bishop Mark was asked to revive and revise the plan. Building on the old plan, a working group was established that included both emergency services chaplains, airport chaplains and those with responsibility for rural parishes. During the process of revising the plan, the Shoreham Airshow Disaster, highlighted further areas that the new plan need to take into account and learn from.
As a result the revised ER Plan seeks to deploy faith ministers in the places that they operate best - in the caring of those effected in the hours, days and months following an incident, whilst also hoping to capture and care for all those deployed. The Plan has now been approved by all the Category 1 responders and the Sussex Resilience Forum.
Emergency Flow Chart - here
How to be more resilient as a community
Of growing importance is encouraging communities to have their own contingency plans and often comes under the heading of Community Resilience.
Guidelines and information from the Sussex Resilience Forum about being prepared and how to respond to a crisis can be found at www.sussexemergency.info
• Within the home every family and individual should do what they can to have in place a Resilience Plan. It is as simple as having something in the car to clear the ice of a windscreen on an icy day to having a bag packed in case of evacuation.
• At a wider level it is about being on friendly terms with your neighbours so that there can be a collective response to a local crisis, being aware for example of any housebound, elderly or disabled neighbours and being prepared to help them when necessary.
• Within a community Parish Councils and Residents Associations there should be contingency planning which will have access to resources to help in times of need, such as knowing where there are halls and places to which people could be evacuated if necessary and having access to the resources to support them over a period of time.
• It is good practice for churches and those involved in local Emergency Response planning to be aware of local contingency and Resilience plans.
• On a wider scale Resilience Forums will network with a number of bodies, statutory, professional and voluntary to ensure that in a crisis which can become an emergency that there is access to resources within the community.
At every level it is about carrying out sensible risk assessments and having in place the appropriate resources to meet the potential needs.