Rest Centre Plan

Introduction

Major emergencies both natural and man-made can strike anywhere at any time. When this happens Cheshire’s emergency services will attend to the immediate effects. They will need the help of the local authorities and voluntary organisations to look after members of the public displaced by the emergency.

When an evacuation occurs, the emergency services will shelter the public using any suitable building as a Reception Centre. They will expect the local authorities to move these evacuees to a designated Rest Centre and once there, to take the lead in caring for them.

Co-ordination

In a major incident many resources are needed, staff being the most important. Emergency services personnel, local authority and voluntary agency staff may be needed at the incident scene and at emergency centres elsewhere. Liaison is needed to ensure that their activities achieve the common good.

Evacuation

For their own safety, people may need to be moved out of an affected area (a release of gas may threaten the residents of a housing estate; a transport accident will result in passengers to look after).

Survivor Reception Centres

In these cases any suitable building nearby may be used as a shelter for these people (The Survivor Reception Centre). Police will co-ordinate any evacuation, if necessary assisted by the Fire Service. They will also choose a location near the incident as a rendezvous point. Here they will jointly decide how best to deal with the immediate effects of the incident.

Having placed those affected in the reception centre (more than one of these may be required), the emergency services will now need help from other agencies.

East Cheshire Council will take the lead role in providing care for those who have had to be evacuated. This plan, “The Cheshire Local Authorities Rest Centre Plan”, describes how this is to be achieved. We do not intend to provide extensive services to the public at the Reception Centres; rather we will move people to a designated Rest Centre which has better facilities.

Rest Centres

Reception Centres are unlikely to have facilities suitable for the needs of large numbers of people or for an extended (24hr) stay. In East Cheshire we have designated certain buildings as Rest Centres. These range in size from small village halls to large leisure centres and secondary schools. They may be owned by East Cheshire Council or by private organisations.