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Emergencies in Islington

Over time, Islington has experienced a wide range of emergency incidents. These have ranged from minor incidents to major incidents that required a joined up response from those involved.

The following past incidents provide examples of the type of emergency that can occur in Islington, as well as what Islington Councils emergency planning team does in response to these incidents. Communities can often have a positive impact in emergency situations, consider what you or your community could do to help prepare for and recover from similar incidents.

For a general overview of the risks, see the London Risk Register.

Severe weather

During periods of poor weather, the emergency planning team works to ensure the impact on residents is as minimal as possible. During periods of cold weather, such as in February 2018, the team will liaise with various other departments to ensure activities such as gritting are carried out. Warnings and advice will be distributed to various partners to allow them to plan effectively for the upcoming weather and reduce any possible disruption. The team will offer departments and staff business continuity advice to ensure critical services can be maintained.

Offord Road burst water main – October 2018

A large water main burst on Offord Road at the junction of Crescent Street leading to water flowing onto Caledonian Road and as far down as Copenhagen Street. The emergency planning team attended the scene to liaise with the emergency services and Thames Water. A number of properties were flooded and the supply to the local area was interrupted for a number of hours. The housing team were informed to ensure that any vulnerable residents who were affected got the support they needed during the water outage. The emergency planning team remained on site until Thames Water had returned the water supply and begun their repairs.

Highbury Pool fire – September 2018

The emergency planning team were informed of a large fire at Highbury Leisure Centre with 100 people evacuated from the building. The emergency planning team attended the scene and activated the council’s crisis response plan. A rest centre was opened in a nearby church and those who had been evacuated were transported there using council transport. The rest centre was staffed by Local Authority Liaison Officers and provided the evacuees with clothing, food and drinks as well as a safe place away from the elements. Transport home was also provided for those who needed it.

Chapel Market gas leak – May 2018

A gas leak at Chapel Market led to a cordon being imposed in the area. A member of the emergency planning team attended the scene to liaise with the emergency services and gas company. Around 150 people were evacuated from the area with a rest centre being put on standby should it be needed to assist those who had been evacuated. The emergency planning officer at the scene remained there until the gas had been capped and it was safe for those evacuated to return to the area.

Finsbury Park terrorist attack – June 2017

A vehicle was deliberately driven at speed onto the footpath of Seven Sisters Road in a terrorist attack. The on call Emergency Planning Officer was notified and activated the council’s crisis response plan and a borough emergency control centre was opened to oversee the response to the incident. A community centre was opened to act as survivors reception centre, staffed by council officers and volunteers from the British Red Cross. A further rest centre was opened the following day for displaced residents, providing shelter, refreshments and support for those residents affected by the incident. Within 48 hours of the attack, the council had set up a recovery group with the immediate objective to ensure the affected community were supported.

Finsbury power outage – October 2016

A large scale power outage affected more than 450 properties as well as the local housing office. The emergency planning team attended the scene and put a nearby rest centre on standby should it be necessary to accommodate displaced residents. Torches were brought to the site in the event that they were needed, along with supplies of bottled water for the residents. The housing team were informed and commenced knocking on doors to assess vulnerable residents.

Upper Street flooding – December 2016

A large burst water main on Upper Street quickly flooded both homes and businesses across a wide area, requiring a large scale response from various agencies. Over 100 residents needed to be evacuated and a rest centre was opened in the Business Design Centre, staffed by Local Authority Liaison Officers. The emergency planning team initiated the Crisis Response Plan and worked closely with the emergency services to manage the incident. The team liaised with various other council departments necessary to assist the residents, including building control, housing and the media team. The emergency planning team worked with businesses following this incident to help them to recover and to become more resilient to similar incidents and other emergencies.

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