York's City Centre Evacuation Plan (CCEP) is designed to help us (together with the emergency services) to manage an orderly evacuation of part, or all, of the area within the city walls, during a major incident.
City centre evacuation areas
During a major incident, it may be necessary for the police and fire service to isolate a large area of the city - to assist them with this, the area within the city walls has been divided into 3 colour-coded areas, and 24 numbered zones.
Evacuation of buildings within the city walls
Unless a terrorist incident occurs, there are no powers in place to force evacuations - in fact, in some cases it may be safer to leave people inside buildings. You would only be asked to evacuate premises where the authorities are convinced it's in your best interests.
You cannot be forced to leave your property, however, you should bear in mind:
- if you should later change your mind, the authorities may not be able to help you to leave
- you'll need to take notice of any advice given, e.g. keeping windows and doors closed; staying away from windows
Evacuation advice for businesses within the city walls
If you're a business owner within the city centre, you can assist the emergency services by:
- repeating and reinforcing evacuation procedures to your staff
- training Security and key staff to signpost others to the nearest evacuation routes
Your business should also:
- have its own evacuation plan (as part of your business continuity planning)
- plan how you'll account for your staff after evacuation
- plan how you'll keep in touch with staff after they leave the building/area
Depending on the severity of the incident, you may be out of your premises for several hours or even overnight, and will also need to prepare for this eventuality.
If you own a business which has subscribed to the Retailers against Crime in York (RACY) or 'Doorsafe' radio scheme, these organisations may send you notifications to evacuate. Alternatively, you may receive a visit from a police, fire or council officer.