Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership
Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership

Loss of Essential Services

Loss of essential services

We rely on a number of essential services in our daily lives such as food and water supplies, energy, and transport. Disruption caused by a technical failure, emergency incident, or industrial action has a significant effect on the economy and society.

A wide-scale loss of electricity, oil, petrol, diesel, or gas supplies would have a major impact on many essential services. Within Greater Manchester there are 13 major hospitals and many more health centres which provide NHS care across Greater Manchester. The transport infrastructure in Greater Manchester is heavily reliant electricity and fuel supplies to run traffic signals and rail and Metrolink services. Individuals and businesses are also becoming increasingly reliant on telecoms, for mobile and fixed line telephony, financial transactions, or the internet. Wide-scale disruptions to voice or data telecommunications or TV or radio broadcasting would have wide-reaching effects on local businesses and the public, especially vulnerable people.

What are we doing in Greater Manchester

  • Service providers have well established plans and procedures in place to respond to these types of incidents.
  • The Greater Manchester Resilience Forum (GMRF) have procedures to help identify people who are vulnerable and may need assistance in a utilities outage.
  • The GMRF are working with infrastructure owners and operators, regulators, trade associations and government to ensure that the most critical infrastructure has been identified and make sure that they are resilient to disruption and recover quickly from an incident.
  • Creating and maintaining business continuity plans to continue to provide essential services during emergency situations.

The government has also produced the National Emergency Plan for Downstream Gas & Electricity and this sets out the arrangements in place between government, industry, regulator and other parties for safe and effective management of downstream gas and electricity supply emergencies. This plan also sets out the Government’s approach to maintaining continuity of fuel supplies in Great Britain. There is also the Security and Emergency Measures (Water and Sewerage Undertakers) Direction 1998 which places legal requirements on water companies in Great Britain to manage risks of failure.

What you can do

  • Find out where the cut off points for your gas and water supply are in your home or business as it may be necessary to shut them off for emergencies.
  • Keep a supply of emergency items in your home such as a wind-up torch, tinned food and bottled water.
  • Do not store petrol or diesel in your home or garage as any benefit is far outweighed by the risk of explosion.
  • If there is warning of supply disruption, take action to prepare such as by filling the bath with drinking water.
  • Consider neighbours who may need help such as elderly, or families with young children.
  • Be alert for bogus callers posing as utility company workers. Always ask to see identification.