Risks in Lancashire

Community Risk Register

The county council has a duty to work in collaboration with the emergency services, NHS organisations, local authorities and the Environment Agency to plan for and respond to emergencies. The Lancashire Resilience Forum was created to facilitate this joint work.

Every Resilience Forum has a Community Risk Register which describes the risks that are present in the community; assesses how likely they are to lead to an emergency and the potential impact they would have. This information is used by the LRF to plan and prepare for emergencies that may occur. It is created through a risk assessment.

The potential for national emergencies are determined by Government. The Lancashire Resilience Forum considers the national issues alongside the local risk context described below, identifying the risks within the county. These risks can come from lots of areas – natural events such as weather, human diseases, animal diseases, accidents or deliberate acts such as terrorism. This can help identify new issues or highlight situations where risk may be changing.

Each identified risk is then analysed and given a rating according to how likely the risk is to lead to an emergency and their potential impact on safety and security, health, economy, environment and society.

The LRF then evaluates the analysis and determines whether to include it in the community risk register, identifying where plans are needed and arrangements required to deliver a multi-agency response. The LRF monitors the risks at each of its meetings to check that is is still relevant and there are no newly emerging issues to consider.

About Lancashire – the local risk context

Lancashire comprises the 12 districts within the Lancashire County Council area and two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool. It covers just over 3,000 square kilometres including 123Km of coastline from West Lancashire in the south to Morecambe Bay in the north, including the major tourist resorts of Blackpool, Fleetwood and Morecambe. With a resident population of 1.45 million, it is one of the most populated and urbanised shire counties in Britain, with a legacy of historical industrial heritage. Conurbations include Preston, Lancaster, Burnley, Blackburn and Skelmersdale. In contrast, large parts of the county are sparsely populated with coastal and estuary landscapes; moorland or arable countryside. Major motorways traverse the county with the M6 running through the entire length of the county, as does the West Coast Mainline. There are ports at Heysham and Fleetwood and an airport in Blackpool. There are two nuclear facilities within the county – Heysham and Springfields – and thirteen industrial sites which require special plans to deal with hazards under COMAH legislation. Off shore wind generation and oil fields sit off the coast in Morecambe Bay. There are two large universities in Lancaster and Preston and major hospitals in Blackburn, Preston, Blackpool and Lancaster.

Common consequences

It really isn’t possible to foresee every circumstance, and isn’t practical to have detailed plans for every potential risk scenario. But there are many emergencies that create similar problems that the LRF includes in its plans and considers when responding.

  • Disruption of road, rail and air transport networks which will require provision of help and information to those who may be stranded;
  • Displacement of people who may not be able to get home or have been evacuated from home or work which may require the provision of safe places to shelter and transport to get there;
  • Debris, rubble or contaminated/polluted land, air or water left behind after an event such as flooding which will need to be cleared and made safe;
  • Large numbers of deaths or injuries with plans needed to help hospitals deal with an increased number of patients and mortuary spaces so that people can be treated with dignity;
  • Loss of electricity, gas, water, oil or telephone with plans needed to issue advice to help people stay safe – especially those who may be more vulnerable and work with suppliers to manage interruptions;
  • Disruption to public services such as school closures, bin collections, welfare payments.

The top risks in Lancashire

The LRF has identified the following top risks for Lancashire:

  • Flu-type pandemic
  • Flooding
  • Terrorist attack
  • Industrial incident
  • Loss of essential services
  • Cold weather and snow
  • Heatwave
  • Storms and gales

Warning & informing the public

In addition, this information is then used as the basis to warn and inform the public about the risks the community faces – which is a requirement under the CCA

A booklet 'Preparing for Emergencies' (PDF 4.46 MB) has been produced by the LRF

  • It provides information to the public on the risks in Lancs
  • Explains how these are dealt with by the LRF
  • What the public can do to prepare

This information is available on the "In The Know" website used by the Lancashire Resilience Forum to provide information to the public before, during and after an emergency https://www.stayintheknow.co.uk

If there are any queries, these should, in the first instance, be addressed to:

Head of Health, Safety & Resilience Service
Lancashire County Council
Emergency Planning Service
County Offices
182 Marsh Lane
Preston
PR1 8RR

Email: emergencyplanning@lancashire.gov.uk