The Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) covers the vast majority of agencies that might respond to an emergency.

It splits them into two sections – Category 1 and Category 2 responders – each being given a different set of duties.

Category 1 responders include the emergency services, local authorities, health services and the Environment Agency.

Under the CCA, these agencies are required to:

• undertake risk assessments;
• plan for emergencies – including prevention and mitigation;
• put in place their own business continuity plans;
• publish information about risk assessments and plans;
• put in place arrangements to warn and inform the public;
• co-operate and share information with other local responders; and
• promote business continuity management to local businesses and voluntary agencies (local authority responsibility only).

Category 2 responders include utilities companies (gas, electric, water and telecoms), transport operators and the Health and Safety Executive.

These agencies are required to:

• Co-operate with other local responders; and
• Share information with other local responders.