London's Emergency Planning and Civil Contingencies

London Civil Protection


London Resilience Team

London Resilience Team, London Fire Brigade, 196 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL.


Tel: 020 8555 1200 ext 30175 London Prepared @LDN_Prepared

In London there is a complex system of emergency planning and accountabilities with, theoretically, semi independent emergency plans developed and ready for operation at borough level.

There are also regional plans of various types co-ordinated by the London Resilience Forum and  its delivery team.

These plans require:

Category 1 organisations in London include each individual London local authority (that is the 32 London boroughs, the City of London and the Greater London Authority), the emergency services, and various National Health Bodies NHS bodies).

They are required to:

  •  assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning
  • put in place emergency plans
  • put in place business continuity management arrangements
  • put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency
  • share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination
  • co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency
  • provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management (local authorities only)

Category 2 organisations (the Health and Safety Executive, transport and utility companies) are ‘co-operating bodies’. They are less likely to be involved in the heart of planning work, but will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their own sector. Category 2 responders have a lesser set of duties - co-operating and sharing relevant information with other Category 1 and 2 responders.

Category 1 and 2 organisations come together to form the London Resilience Team (based on the Metropolitan Police Area boundary), which helps co-ordination and co-operation between responders at the local level.

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is a functional body of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and was established under the Greater London Authority Act 1999. Its principal purpose is to run the London Fire Brigade. The 17 members of LFEPA are appointed annually by the Mayor of London. Eight are nominated from the London Assembly, seven from the London Boroughs and two are Mayoral appointees. It replaced the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority, on 3 July 2000. The 17 members of the Authority are appointed by the Mayor. Eight are nominated from the London Assembly, seven from the London boroughs and two are Mayoral appointees.

The Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority is appointed by the Mayor of London to also sit as the Chair of the London Resilience Forum and oversees the work of the multi agency London Resilience Partnership.

London Resilience Partnership

London Resilience coordinates institutions and communities to prevent, handle, recover and learn from disruption, and adapt to change; on behalf of the Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, Local Authorities and London Fire Brigade.

It brings together over 170 organisations who each have specific responsibilities for preparing for and responding to emergencies and assesses risks, with the aim of reducing "the likelihood or impact of those risks and, where risk can’t be eliminated, preparing arrangements to respond, recover and learn from emergencies".

The partnership has a London wide strategy which provides more details on the vision for resilience in London, and information about how emergency preparedness is structured. The partnership also has a delivery arm called the London Resilience Team.

The London Resilience Team

The London Resilience Team was created in 2002 as the delivery arm of London's regional emergency planning and support.  In 2010  the London Resilience Team transferred from the Government Office for London to the Greater London Authority.

In October 2016, London Resilience Team and the London Fire Brigade Emergency Planning Team combined to form London Resilience, a collective unit delivering services on behalf of both the Mayor of London, London's Local Authorities and London Fire Brigade.

London Resilience Forum (LRF)

More than 170 organisations make up the London Resilience Partnership. To make sure the views of all organisations can be effectively represented at the London Resilience Forum, work is conducted by a series of specific groups and sector panels (Local Authority Panel, Voluntary Sector Panel, Transport Panel, Faith Sector Panel etc) which report into the main forum.

As well as the London Resilience Forum, each local authority area maintains a Borough Resilience Forum. These local arrangements enable local cooperation and information sharing.

Local Authorities Panel

The Local Authority Panel of the LRF, was established under revised governance arrangements, in 2008. The aim of the panel is to develop and maintain strategic-level involvement in emergency planning and become the driving force in collective local authority emergency planning in London.

It has supported the development and implimentation of:

  • Minimum Standards for London (MSL). MSL agreed by all local authorities; which sets out the standards and expectations for a collective regional response to emergencies through the Local Authority Gold arrangements.
  • In line with MSL, the London Local Authority Gold arrangements as a whole have seen an upgrade with the introduction of Advisers to the London Local Authority Coordination Centre, the LLACC. The Advisers’ main purpose is to support each Local Authority Gold Chief Executive by ensuring that Gold’s strategy is delivered appropriately and efficiently through the LLACC.
  • Supporting the Business Continuity Promotion Steering Group in producing the raw materials which enable individual authorities to encourage businesses to invest in business continuity. Despite the current financial climate support for this programme remains strong.
  • Assisting the LRF’s in multi-agency working at the sub-regional level. The sub-regional element has encouraged resilience partners to come together, discuss common threats and agree working plans across Borough boundaries, which include not only resilience planning but also a focus on recovery.

London's Emergency Plans

The emergency plans in London can be grouped into those which are applicable to all emergencies and those which are designed specifically for particular types of emergency.

Specific emergency plans are developed to provide a tailored response to individual types of risk. For example, not all emergencies involve flooding, so we have a separate framework setting out the response to that risk.

All of the specific plans are designed to complement the generic plans, and can be simultaneously activated. For example, it might be necessary to undertake an evacuation during an adverse weather event, in which case multiple emergency plans would be activated:

  • London Strategic Flood Response Framework - information for local responders to assist in decision making and planning for a flood incident
  • London Pandemic Influenza Framework - response to an outbreak of pandemic flu
  • London Humanitarian Assistance Plan – planned support for those affected by emergencies
  • London Mass Casualty Framework – response arrangements in the event of an incident involving many casualties
  • London Mass Fatality Framework – how London will respond to an incident involving a significant number of deaths in a short space of time
  • London Excess Deaths Framework - response to a large number of deaths over an extended period of time, for instance as a result of disease
  • London Structural Collapse Response and Recovery Framework - guidance for planning for and responding to a large scale structural collapse
  • London Adverse Weather Framework - actions to be taken in the case of heatwaves, snow and other adverse weather
  • London Mass Evacuation Framework – guidance for managing a mass evacuation of displaced persons
  • London Mass Shelter Framework – guidance for sheltering large numbers of people affected by emergencies
  • London Drought Response Framework - explains the arrangements in place for a coordinated approach to managing drought

Major Incidents

In time of major incidents the Major Incident Procedure Manual, which contains information about what each of the emergency services and local authorities will do during such an eventuality in London.

The procedures outlined in the manual are designed to act as a framework for the emergency services to work together for maximum efficiency. The manual is published by the Met on behalf of the London Emergency Services Liaison Panel (LESLP).
LESLP was formed in 1973 and is made up of representatives from the Met, City of London Police, British Transport Police, the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service and local authorities. The Port of London Authority (PLA), Marine Coastguard, Royal Air Force, Military and voluntary sector are also represented.