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County Emergency Planning Service
The County Emergency Planning Service (CEPS) is responsible for ensuring the County Council is adequately prepared for and able to respond to major emergencies or disasters that affect Devon. The Council has a statutory responsibility under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to prepare plans for civil protection and respond to emergency situations, along with partner agencies. Emergency plans are prepared for those situations considered locally to carry the greatest risk or threat to the community. Plans are prepared and validated in conjunction with District Councils in Devon, the emergency services and other Category 1 responders under the umbrella of the Devon & Cornwall Local Resilience Group
CEPS undertakes and participates in the following functions:
- Risk assessment – the service participates in the community risk assessment, undertaken with partners at the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum (LRF). The result of this work is published in the Community Risk Register, on the LRF website.
- Emergency preparation and planning – plans are prepared for situations judged most likely to impact the communities of Devon or for known risks. Plans will document preventative measures to be taken wherever possible, as well as response protocols.
- Business continuity – ensuring the continuity of the County Council’s own service delivery in the event of disruption is now a duty for all category 1 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act, including local authorities. It is necessary to prepare for emergency situations which may be through an external emergency, such as flooding or influenza pandemic, or through reasons individual to the organisation concerned, such as power failure or the disablement of all or part of a building. There is also a responsibility to encourage business continuity in Devon, particularly amongst small businesses and the voluntary sector
- Emergency response – trigger points are identified to invoke our response mechanisms, which will include the opening of Rest Centres. Devon County Council staff also help staff Survivors Reception Centres and Friends and Family Reception Centres where required.
- Recovery – CEPS will help identify resources required to aid recovery from emergency situations, including the involvement of other parts of the County Council and other agencies.
- Advice and information – there is now a duty on councils to provide information to the public and business communities on dealing with emergencies.