The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes a unified system of civil defence1 under which local authorities, statutory undertakers and other public bodies2 are required to assess the risk of and plan for emergencies3, to act collaboratively in so doing4 and, where necessary, to comply with the instructions, directions and guidance of ministers5. Ministers are also empowered to exercise executive powers where there is an urgent need to prevent, control or mitigate the effects of an emergency
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