Emergency plans

The top risks in Sussex and what local authorities, communities and businesses can do to prepare for them are highlighted in the Community Risk Register booklet:

How we plan

Emergency plans are flexible, regularly reviewed, updated and circulated. We aim to test them once every three years. We work closely with other members of the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) to plan and improve our joint response to emergencies.

This work is done via work streams that we either jointly lead or are part of. These are Risk & Horizon Scanning, Emergency Welfare, Weather & Environment, Community Resilience Partnership, Communications (Warning & Informing), Emergency Response, Training & Exercising and the Sussex Health Responders Group.

Our strategic representative on the SRF Executive is Rupert Clubb.

We also work with partners in other neighbouring counties, such as Kent and West Sussex, on joint arrangements for flooding, coastal pollution and Dungeness power station.

Council emergency plans

The immediate response to a major incident is carried out by the emergency and health services, with support from local authorities.

Local authorities also provide support to the community to help get everything back to a new normal.

To assist with the response to an emergency incident and the recovery after it East Sussex County Council (ESCC) utilise a number of plans that are written for those purposes.

Examples of these plans include:

ESCC Emergency Response Plan

ESCC Corporate Business Continuity Plan

Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) Major Maritime Emergency Plan

SRF Identifying the Vulnerable during an Emergency plan

In addition, ESCC has plans that assist with dealing with specific emergency incidents such as; Animal disease outbreaks, Pandemic Influenza and Flooding. Get advice about pandemic flu, ebola, bird flu and swine flu

See also Pandemic flu: public health response – GOV.UK

Flooding and reservoir plans

As part of our response to flooding we maintain and utilise flood plans that cover the following areas;

  • Hastings (incl. Bulverhythe)


    Pevensey Bay (covers Normans Bay, Westham, Langney and parts of Eastbourne)

    Seahaven (Seaford and Newhaven area)


    We also have access to the Rother flood plan maintained by Rother District Council.

    There are a number of reservoirs across East Sussex, including Bewl Water, Darwell, Powdermill, Weir Wood and others.

    Reservoir operators like Southern Water are responsible for dealing with problems at the reservoirs.

    ESCC have produced a generic ‘off-site plan’ for responding to reservoir emergencies in Sussex, working together with West Sussex County Council and other partners in the Sussex Resilience Forum.

See more information, including reservoir maps, on the following websites.

Planning with partners

ESCC works with partners from the Emergency Services, Health, Government agencies, Voluntary Sector and the Local Community including Town and Parish Council’ and Community Groups.

As part of this partnership working we have worked jointly on the following plans;

The SRF Sussex Emergency Response and Recovery (SERR) Policy and Procedure. This provides a framework for emergency management in Sussex.

The SRF Recovery Plan - Following an emergency, local authorities and other organisations in Sussex work together with communities to help them get back to normality, support them through things like disruption to housing, education or community facilities, and explore opportunities to improve local areas.

The Anglo/French response plan - Describes emergency planning arrangements between East Sussex County Council and Seine Maritime.

Advice for communities on emergency planning

Communities can also prepare their own emergency plans. Below is advice on how to do this.

Making an emergency plan for your family

A template for a Family Emergency Plan is available on this Sussex Resilience Forum web page.

For information on any of the plans above or for support and advice on producing your own Community Emergency Plan please email: emergency.planning@eastsussex.gov.uk.