The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 also places a risk assessment duty on all Category 1 responders.
The purpose of the duty is to:
- Ensure that Category 1 responders have an accurate and shared understanding of the risks that they face so that planning has a sound foundation and is proportionate to the risks;
- Provide a rational basis for the prioritisation of objectives and work programmes and the allocation of resources;
- Enable Category 1 responders to assess the adequacy of their plans and capabilities, highlight existing measures that are appropriate, and allow gaps to be identified;
- Facilitate joined up local planning, based on consistent planning assumptions;
- Enable Category 1 responders to provide an accessible overview of the emergency planning and business continuity planning context for the public and officials; and
- Inform and reflect regional and national risk assessments that support emergency planning and capability development at those levels.
The risk assessment process considers the following:
- Social - are there any particularly vulnerable groups in the community?
- Environmental- are there any particular local vulnerabilities (e.g. areas prone to flooding)?
- Infrastructure- how is the infrastructure configured in the area (transport, utilities, business etc)? what are the critical supply networks in the area? are there any sites in the area that are particularly critical for local, regional and national essential services (e.g. telecommunications hubs, etc)?
- Hazardous sites- what potentially hazardous sites exist in the area? Where are they in relation to communities or sensitive environmental sites?