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United Kingdom - Prevention & preparedness

Vademecum - Civil Protection

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The Emergency Planning College provides training for representatives of local and Central Government, the emergency services, the private sector and volunteer groups.

The Fire Service College provides training for fire services and industry.


The government has in place a coordinated cross-governmental exercise programme covering a comprehensive range of domestic disruptive challenges, including accidents, natural disasters and acts of terrorism.

The programme is designed to test rigorously the concept of operations from the coordinated central response through the range of Lead Government Department responsibilities and the involvement of the devolved administrations, to the regional tier and local responders.

In addition, local authorities and the emergency services develop their own programme of exercises to test capabilities at the local/regional level.

This nationwide rolling programme of exercises is designed to ensure that the UK has the best possible contingency plans in place to respond to a whole range of civil emergency scenarios.

The UK also observes or participates with international partners in exercises, either through multilateral fora, such as the G8, NATO and the EU, or on a bilateral basis.

For further details on recent national and local exercise case studies: National Exercises: Case Studies.

Early warning systems

Forecasts of rainfall, snow, cold/hot weather are provided by the Met Office up to five days before the incident.

Early warnings on flooding are provided by the Environment Agency (EA) and the Flood Forecasting Centre to all emergency responders.

The National Steering Committee for Warning and Informing the Public (NSCWIP) provides advice and guidance to emergency managers in implementing the 'Communicating with the Public' duty.

The NSCWIP is the UK's primary independent advisory group on warning and informing the public. Created in 1997, it is a body with considerable expertise and experience, comprising of senior managers from the emergency services, local authorities, utilities, regulatory bodies, industry, as well as the broadcasting media. The NSCWIP's role also includes the provision of advice to central and regional government, as well as the promotion of good practice around the country.


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