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Emergency planning

Most emergencies in the UK are handled at a local level by the appropriate emergency services, local authorities and agencies, with no direct involvement from central government.

Sometimes the scale or complexity of an incident means some degree of central government input or co-ordination is required.

Due to our wide remit, Defra has the lead role in a number of scenarios, this is referred to as ‘Lead Government Department responsibilities’

Defra has the Lead Government responsibility for leading Emergency Planning and Response in nine policy areas.

Defra’s lead areas:

The nine lead areas are:

For further information on the role and responsibilities of Lead Government Departments and generic Central Government Arrangements for responding to an emergency see the UK Resilience web pages on the Cabinet Office website.

Other emergencies

We also consider the impact of any emergency on the full range of our interests and have arrangements in place for contributing to the overall response. Some of our other interests include:

  • rural communities;
  • air quality;
  • waste management;
  • food commodities (livestock products, crops, horticulture, fisheries); and,
  • as an employer, the impact on our own staff.

Defra also responds to emergencies that affect our interests but fall outside our responsibility – for example:

Page last modified: 31 December 2010