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Major incident response

​​​​​​​​​​​What is a major incident?

A major incident is defined as "An emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services or the local authority."

What you can do during a major incident 

To help you prepare and respond to emergencies you can access information on the Greater Manchester Prepared website. It includes, but isn't limited to, information on responding to flooding, gales and high winds, infectious diseases, snow, reservoir emergencies and more.

Greater Manchester Prepared

Role of a local authority during a major incident

A local authority is expected to have contingency plans which set out the steps that will be taken to initiate, control and co-ordinate its response to a major disaster and the areas of activity in which the authority would be involved.

Our responsibilities during a major incident are to maintain our existing services to the community, to provide support to the emergency services and to take the lead in organising the restoration to normality. Experience elsewhere has shown that a council's involvement in any major incident will usually be the longest of all the organisations involved and may be prolonged and extensive.

The council's preparations for its response to a major incident are contained in its Emergency Response and Recovery Plan which is subject to continual review and amendment. Our emergency planning entails continuing consultation and collaboration with the emergency services and those voluntary agencies that might be concerned in responding to a major incident.

The council will work towards:

  • Maintaining statutory services at an appropriate level
  • Supporting the emergency services and other organisations involved in the immediate response
  • Providing support services for the community and others affected by the incident
  • Enabling the community to recover and return to normality as fast as possible
  • Providing ‘mutual aid' to other local authorities as requested

​Services provided during a major incident

During an emergency we may be required to provide the following services:

  • Ensuring regular communication across various channels including social media and website.​
  • Providing accommodation for displaced people/temporary shelter.
  • The initial call out of Authority staff and resources as necessary
  • Setting up the Emergency Control centre to co-ordinate the councils response
  • Establishing liaison between the council and its departments, Emergency and Health Services, the Armed Forces, Voluntary organisations and Government and other agencies involved
  • Restoring those services which have been affected by an emergency for which the council is usually responsible
  • The setting up and management of evacuation centres. The provision of immediate care and welfare support is a priority particularly for persons with special needs, the elderly and children
  • To co-ordinate requests for additional resources which may be required by partner agencies during the emergency response
  • Establishing procedures for a joint media response
  • Arranging things like highway clearance, repairs and signing of roads and cordons. The latter in conjunction with the Police
  • Arrange for any repairs to damaged roads and bridges
  • Offering counselling support to those affected by the emergency, including members of staff.
  • In the event of a major incident, the setting up of a disaster fund may be initiated by the council who would nominate trustees for its administration and appoint an officer to keep the accounts
  • Re-house those made permanently homeless by an emergency
  • Give aid to neighbouring councils when requested
  • Implement measures to control the spread of disease - liaise with the Director of Public Health
  • Maintain financial control of the operation and make arrangements for funding and the preparation of a full cost analysis


0300 303 8875

Out of hours emergencies
Monday 11am-11.30am
Monday-Friday 5.30pm-8.30am
Anytime weekends and bank holidays