Identifying people who are vulnerable in a crisis: guidance for emergency planners and responders

This guidance is intended for the development of local action plans for identifying groups of people who may be vulnerable in an emergency.


Identifying People Who Are Vulnerable in a Crisis - Guidance for Emergency Planners and Responders

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This guidance is intended for the development of local action plans for identifying groups of people who may be vulnerable in an emergency. It is primarily intended for those who are involved in local emergency planning for vulnerable groups, particularly those within a Local Resilience Forum (LRF) who have key leadership roles in the care of vulnerable people in an emergency

The document has been compiled by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS), which sits within the Cabinet Office, and expands on elements of Evacuation and Shelter Guidance that deal with vulnerable people1 and Emergency Preparedness - Guidance on Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

The guidance primarily focuses on the principles of identifying and building relationships with bodies responsible for vulnerable people, so that the potential scale and mechanism for response can be agreed before an emergency occurs.

This guidance considers vulnerable people as those ‘that are less able to help themselves in the circumstances of an emergency’. The lists of potentially vulnerable people are intended as examples but there may be additional groups to consider.

The guidance is not ‘final’ - it has taken into account the initial findings of Sir Michael Pitt’s report on the summer 2007 flooding; but will be further reviewed to take account of his final report. As this is an evolving area of policy there will be other emerging good practice that is not referenced here and CCS welcomes further examples or comment for inclusion in later iterations of this guidance.

Other organisations may also benefit from familiarity with the approach in this guidance if they are indirectly involved in either planning or providing for the needs of vulnerable people - these could include all other members of LRFs, voluntary sector organisations, Regional Resilience Forums and community support groups.

This guidance focuses on working with the various agencies, organisations and departments that might be responsible for vulnerable people. However, it is important to highlight the role of family, friends, neighbours, faith groups and community groups in identifying vulnerable people within LRF warning and informing activity.

The principles contained in this interim guidance are intended to be of use to emergency responders in the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the nature of the devolution settlement for each devolved administration means that there may be variations in the way this guidance will be applied.

Published 1 February 2008