Skip to main content

Civil Emergencies

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the key generic capabilities being developed for dealing with civil emergencies; what progress is being made with developing each of the key generic capabilities for civil emergency preparation; when he expects officials to report; when decisions will have been made on their practical implementation; which of the key areas do not have guidance suitable for dealing with a contemporary threat; and what the Government response will be in an emergency while the current programme of work on each of the 11 areas continues. [102926]

I have been asked to reply.I am replying as the Minister responsible for work across Government to co-ordinate our counter-terrorist and resilience work.I set out in my statement of 3 March 2003,

Official Report, column 72WS, the 11 key generic capabilities that allow the United Kingdom to recover quickly from the most demanding emergencies. These are:

  • central response
  • essential services
  • local response
  • decontamination
  • site clearance
  • treatment of infectious diseases
  • treatment of mass casualties
  • mass evacuation
  • identification and assessment
  • warning, informing and alerting
  • dealing with mass fatalities

We already have the capacity to respond to emergency situations. What we are looking to do is to further enhance our capability in the areas set out. We will constantly strive to improve our ability to respond to emergencies in this most effective and efficient way possible. The capability programme we have set in place is one aspect of that work.

The Committee on Consequence Management and Resilience which I chair receives regular reports on progress in these areas, which includes implementation

of recommendations. We are not going to wait until the capability programme is complete before implementing recommendations. If the programme highlights ways in which we can enhance our resilience in some areas by acting sooner we will take those decisions as soon as is practicable.

Yesterday I announced an additional £331 million of resources to fund a range of projects to enhance.