ARCHIVE: Planning for emergencies
Defra has overall responsibility for policy and funding of the flood risk management service in England. Delivery is through a range of partners, principally the Environment Agency but also to a lesser extent local authorities and internal drainage boards.
The Environment Agency uses Defra funding to undertake a range of measures both to reduce the likelihood of flooding (eg physical defences) and also to mitigate the consequences of flooding (eg through flood forecasting and warning systems, public awareness campaigns and preparing for flooding emergencies).
Defra and the Environment Agency also seek to influence others to improve resilience to flooding of the national power, transport etc infrastructure. Taken together, these approaches help reduce flood risk overall (flood risk being defined as a combination of likelihood and consequences).
To test our preparedness for such emergencies, the Environment Agency, Defra and other partners undertake national and local level exercises. This included Exercise Triton held in June 2004 to test our ability to respond to, amongst other things, major coastal flooding from tidal surge.
Defra and the Environment Agency are also playing a major role in the Cabinet Office led Capabilities Programme which is seeking to build the capability of all key players, across the country, to respond to a range of serious emergencies, including flooding. A national capabilities survey has been conducted and the results are being assessed. Defra chairs the Capability Programme workstream on emergency planning and response to flooding.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 formalises a number of duties on local authorities, the emergency services and other organisations involved, including the Environment Agency, in responding to any emergency. Amongst these are contingency planning and risk assessment for emergencies at the local level, including flooding.
Page last modified: 21 August 2009
Page published: 21 April 2009