Emergency planning

Severe weather

The NHS offer advice on coping through cold periods and hot weather.

It is helpful to the community if you can clear snow and ice near your home. Do not use hot water as it may lead to black ice. If possible put salt on the area you have cleared.

Flooding

Check the Environment Agency website for up-to-date flooding information.

Gov.uk offers useful information about preparing for and dealing with a flood, preparing your business for a flood, and preparing your community for a flood.

We only give out sandbags if we think they will help maintain vital routes and protect lives. They are available from builders' merchants and DIY stores.

pdf icon Local Flood Risk Management Strategy [2Mb]

pdf icon Reading Preliminary Food Risk Assessment [3Mb]

pdf icon Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report [274kb]

pdf icon Flood Investigation Report - Kingsley Close [1Mb]

Evacuation

If the Emergency Services have to cordon off an area for safety reasons, they will ask everyone within the cordon to leave until it is safe to return. You are not legally obliged to leave unless it is because of a suspected terrorist incident, but we strongly suggest you follow the instructions of the Emergency Services.

You should stay with friends or family until the cordon is removed. If you don't have anywhere local to stay, we will organise emergency housing for you.

Planning for emergencies

We have developed plans and carried out training so that we can take adequate measures to respond to emergencies.

Parish councils, flood or neighbourhood action groups can use our pdf icon community emergency plan template [878kb] to prepare a plan.

Reading Borough Council Emergency Plan

pdf icon RBC Emergency Plan Policy [120kb]

Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

The AWE is responsible for the design and manufacture of warheads for the UK's nuclear weapons. It has two main sites in Berkshire, one in Burghfield, the other in Aldermaston.

All sites in the UK that store and manage nuclear materials are legally required to have an emergency plan for what to do in the event of an incident or emergency on the site. West Berkshire Council is responsible for this planning. The area where the emergency plan applies is called the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone, or DEPZ. 

Following changes to legislation, the DEPZ areas around AWE Burghfield have increased. This means some Reading houses and businesses now fall within the area. These properties will be contacted by West Berkshire Council. It is important to note that there have not been any changes to the nature of the work undertaken at AWE Burghfield and the likelihood of an emergency occurring has not increased. What has changed is that the legislation requires a larger area is included in the emergency planning zone to increase the protection to the public in the event of an emergency.

While the likelihood of a radiation emergency remains low, you should familiarise yourself with what to do if it did occur.

  • go indoors and stay indoors
  • close and stay away from all windows and doors. Damp down or put out fires and turn off any fans that could draw in air from outside
  • tune in to local radio and TV. Advice and updates will also be given on news websites and social media

More detailed information, including an interactive map to check your postcode, can be found at info.westberks.gov.uk/awe. There is also a comprehensive FAQ list.

Every two years all households and businesses within the area will receive a comprehensive booklet from West Berkshire Council explaining the DEPZ and what to do in an emergency. If you fall within the area, you will receive this.

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