How we help residents respond to emergencies

Image of flooding in Wallington

Published Friday, 5th March 2021

Since January 2015, the Emergency Planning Team has responded to 107 incidents.

The majority of these have been fires, flooding and utility disruption such as gas leaks, burst water mains or power failures. The Team provides a 24/7 365 on call service that is prepared to support residents whenever an incident occurs.

Services provided usually include shelter and accommodation, managing traffic disruption, gully cleansing/drainage, dangerous structure inspections and communications.  

“Residents are our primary focus when we’re preparing to respond to emergencies”, says Mike, Emergency Planning Manager. “Knowing that the arrangements we’ve developed will support residents when they need our help gives the team and I a great sense of purpose.” 

The Team are responsible for the training of all councillors and officers with a response role, and deliver major incident exercises annually to test the Council’s preparedness. They also work closely with our blue light, health and voluntary sector partners, and Chair the Sutton Borough Resilience Forum, working on joint emergency plans, training and exercises to ensure Sutton remains a safe and resilient place to live, work and raise a family.

In September 2019, the Team responded to the major fire on the Hamptons Estate, which destroyed the 23 flats in Richmond House, required the evacuation of nearby Crayton House, and left 86 residents homeless in the middle of the night. 

The Team activated the Council’s major emergency response procedures and coordinated the response from services. This ensured that we could quickly support distressed residents with shelter and meet their immediate needs (food, clothing and medication). The Team worked around the clock over the following weeks to continue to support residents and the housing association. 

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This is one of hundreds of services we provide in Sutton. But we are facing a big challenge. More than 70% of our budget goes towards caring for Sutton’s vulnerable adults and children. Following COVID-19, more people are needing our help, while the cost of services is increasing.

Find out how we plan to protect those needing our care and support Sutton’s recovery over the next 12 month.

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