West Berkshire Council

Emergency Planning

The Joint Emergency Planning Unit (JEPU) co-ordinates the council's readiness and ability to respond to emergencies and supports the community in the recovery from incidents. The JEPU is a service provided by West Berkshire District Council in partnership with Bracknell Forest and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead councils, ensuring a consistent approach to emergency planning and response across all three areas.

Is an emergency happening now?

If there is a risk to life, call 999 immediately.

If there is a genuine emergency relating to the council, contact the Joint Emergency Planning Unit on 01635 503535, during office hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Outside of office hours, please call 01635 42161. You can contact the council outside of office hours for emergencies, enquiries about social care, and for issues with car parks. 

Please note that emergencies include:

  • Major incidents - for example major accidents, significant flooding 
  • Fallen trees and other debris blocking or restricting roads or causing potential danger to road users
  • Traffic lights not working (note: West Berkshire Council only manages fixed traffic lights, not temporary traffic lights) 
  • Emergency repairs to council-owned temporary accommodation (note: tenants of properties should contact their Housing Association, landlord or agent)

Emergencies do not include:

  • bins not being collected
  • payments to the council
  • noise complaints

If your concern relates to emergencies regarding social care for adults and children or homelessness, please contact the Social Care Service's Emergency Duty Team on 01344 351999.

If your concern relates to a lost or found dog, please contact our Animal Warden service.

For everything else you should contact Customer Services the next business day, or report your issue online.



The Emergency Planning service's objectives are:

  • Ensure we deliver our statutory obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004
  • Assess the risks which could affect the council area and use this to inform the priority of planning and allocation of resources. Details of the community risk register can be found on the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum website
  • Ensure there are plans in place to allow the council to respond effectively to support the communities affected
  • Provide training and exercising opportunities to ensure staff understand their roles in an emergency
  • Support individuals, businesses and communities so they can be better prepared and more self-reliant during emergencies

To achieve these objectives we work with several other organisations that may also respond to an emergency. In particular, we work in partnership with the other Berkshire Unitary Authorities and the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum. This is a forum that allows all local, national and specialist responders to work together to identify risk and work on plans and processes to mitigate the risks and respond to emergencies as effectively as possible.


Types of Emergencies

Emergencies happen all the time and are managed by the relevant emergency services, utility companies and the council.

Some emergencies require a multi-agency response, involving a wider range of responders, including National Highways, the Environment Agency and the UK Health Security Agency. These include:

  • Severe weather, such as wide-spread flooding, extreme cold or extreme heat
  • Infectious diseases, such as flu
  • Industrial accidents
  • Acts of terrorism

Along with other organisations, we identify potential risks within the council area and try to respond to all eventualities by ensuring services across the council are ready to work to prepared plans. We check with other agencies, such as the emergency services and our neighbouring councils, to ensure all our emergency plans complement one another.


What else does the JEPU do?

Our work isn't just about planning for emergencies but also involves specific work that reduces the risks of emergencies happening. These include:

Event Advice

We provide information and advice concerning events planned to take place. These events range from small local fairs to larger sporting or entertainment events, agricultural or military shows and carnivals. We provide this advice through the Safety Advisory Groups (SAG).

Reviewing planning applications

Where they are planned in flood risk areas or adjacent to significant risk sites such as Atomic Weapons Establishments.

Community Resilience

We actively promote and support communities, schools, care providers, businesses and individuals to be prepared and have plans. See Preparing for Emergencies for more information.


Visit the pages below for further information and guidance related to threats within the council's area:

Preparing for Emergencies
Create a plan to prepare for an emergency situation
Severe Weather
Information on what to do during periods of severe weather
Preparing for Hot Weather
Advice to help you plan ahead during the warmer months
Preparing for Winter
Advice to help you during the colder months
Pet Welfare During Emergencies
Looking after pets if you need to leave your home because of an emergency
Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
Find out about AWE and what to do in an emergency
Evacuation and Shelter
Help and advice on what to do in the event of an emergency evacuation
Safety Advisory Group (SAG)
Providing event organisers with guidance and advice to help make events safe for all those who attend
Emergency Planning Key Contacts
Useful contact details for a range of partners and services during emergencies
Terrorism and Threat Levels
Information about terrorism and what the threat levels mean
Information and advice regarding flood prevention, preparation and recovery
Flood Risk Management
Information about the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH)
Petroleum Storage Depot (PSD)

Who To Contact