Accessing emergency rest centres in the UK - lesson learnt

Kipling, J, Ormerod, M and Newton, R 2011, 'Accessing emergency rest centres in the UK - lesson learnt' , International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 2 (1) , pp. 47-58.

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Emergency rest centres (ERC) are premises that are used for the temporary accommodation of evacuees during an emergency situation. They form an important part of emergency response, by providing a focal point for receiving people and providing food, shelter, information and support. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 creates a legislative right for ‘reasonable’ access to goods and services for disabled people. This legislation does not differentiate between emergency and non emergency situations which means that those with a responsibility for emergency planning need to consider the accessibility of ERCs. This article examines ERC provision and reviews access for disabled people. It focuses on a study of three ERCs that were established in different local authority areas within the Yorkshire and Humber region in the UK during a flooding event on 25th June 2007. While uncovering many instances of good practise, the results from the research also identified a number of lessons to be learnt, in particular it was noted that the main barriers to access were encountered with: • Facilities and elements that did not comprise part of the buildings normal operation, such as the provision of bedding, medical assistance and effective communication; and • Facilities that would not normally be expected to be used to the extent, or duration, whilst the emergency rest centre was in operation, such as the provision of adequate welfare facilities. The research also noted that Civil Protection Legislation within the UK contains limited instruction or guidance to those with responsibility for Emergency Rest Centre provision. This provides little impetus for Emergency Planners to consider the needs of disabled people. This research has broad implications for local authorities and national government representatives. It identifies a need for those with responsibility for emergency planning and response to strengthen their knowledge of disabled people, and to adopt a more holistic approach to the provision of emergency planning and response.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Publisher: Emerald
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1759-5908
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Professor Marcus G Ormerod
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2011 14:41
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:10
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