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.
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.
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.
The LRF has identified the following top risks for Lancashire: