Emergency Plan

Gittisham Parish Council, May 2022

Review Date:  May 2024

Table of Contents


    An emergency/major incident is any event or circumstance (happening with or without warning) that causes or threatens death or injury, disruption to the community, or damage to property or to the environment on such a scale that the effect cannot be dealt with by the emergency services as part of their normal day to day activities.

    Nearly all emergencies affecting the village and Parish of Gittisham will be dealt with routinely by an integrated multi-agency response, including the emergency services, East Devon District Council, utilities and voluntary agencies. However, a situation could occur, such as extensive flooding, storm damage, deep snow or a major incident which could delay the arrival of outside assistance, when the community will need to help itself.

    Emergency Planning is all about ensuring that strategies are put in place to mitigate the effects of such an incident.


    Gittisham is a largely rural parish with a low population density. However to the east of the parish,  is part of the Honiton Heathfield housing estate known as Gittisham Vale and a new development, Hayne Farm.

    There are approximately 200 residents in Gittisham village and surrounds.

    There are approximately 300 residents of Gittisham Vale: the survey carried out for the parish plan in late 2010 found about 60% of these to be over 65.

    In addition, the new development at Hayne Farm will have 300 properties (133 occupied January 2021) , of a younger age profile.

    Access to the Village centre is from four C class roads. The C class road from Devonshire Road, Honiton through the village to Iron Bridge at Fenny Bridges is a bus route and is the main route to and from the village.

    Access to the Vale is via a spine road (Old Elm Road) from the main Honiton to Sidmouth road at the east. The spine road terminates for non-emergency traffic at its western end.

    Access to Hayne Farm is from Hayne Lane, immediately south of the railway bridge, or through the Old Elm Road emergency gate.

    Response to Specific Emergencies

    This Emergency Plan considers the risks and issues to be dealt with in respect of:

    • Flood
    • Heavy Snowfall

    In the event of other emergencies, procedures similar to those as described in the Snow Plan will be actioned.

    Purpose, Aim and Objectives of the Plan

    The purpose of the Plan is to provide a framework that enables the Parish Council to support the community when outside assistance from emergency services and other agencies is delayed or overwhelmed.

    The aim of the Plan is to enhance the local communities short term resilience to an emergency.

    The objectives of the Plan are to :

    • Identify the risks to the community and the relevant response actions ;
    • Identify community resources including manpower, equipment and material available :
    • Identify vulnerable people and property within the community ;
    • Establish roles and responsibilities ; and
    • Provide key contact details.

    Emergency Accommodation

    In the event of an emergency where people are required to leave their homes, in the short term, the Village Hall will be made available. Alternative accommodation will also be sought from within the community as appropriate. Initial contact for access to the village hall can be made direct to Village Hall Committee Members (Hamish Hall 07880178297 and/or Nick Chapman 07973797447 and/or Cordelia Wolfe 07871934157).

    Should the village hall not be available the church will act as an alternative. Contact – Julia Barrett 07763 111367 or Carol McCann (01404 851322)

    Local Co-ordination

    For any plan to succeed you need to ensure that there are sufficient volunteers to undertake any necessary actions. Names and contact phone numbers are listed where appropriate.

    Health and Safety

    The principle aim of an Emergency Plan is to reduce the risk to the life of people in the area. The health and safety of those responding to any emergency must also be addressed as a priority. At no time should any volunteer be asked to carry out anything that could put their life at risk. Each volunteer must assess any situation and request help if required before proceeding. Local volunteers are not trained members of the emergency services.

    Under no circumstances should volunteers put themselves or others at risk when considering action

    Vulnerable people

    A list of people/groups within the community who may be vulnerable is helpful in directing help and identifying priorities. Care is necessary in the collection and storage of data in this respect. The list will only be made available to authorised helpers. In the preparation and maintenance of the list consideration should be given to :

    • The elderly
    • Those with visual or auditory impairments
    • Those with young children
    • Those with mental or physical impairments
    • Those with injuries or temporary conditions/illnesses
    • Non native English speaking members of the community


    Three defibrillators are funded by the parish. They are for emergency use, and located:

    1. Gittisham village: Old telephone box by the river bridge.
    2. The Vale: Wall in Old Elm Road junction Honeysuckle Drive.
    3. Hayne Farm: Front of Block F, Longlands Way, Hayne Farm, EX14 3FX.

    999 Emergency Operators have the locations of this equipment, and will instruct the caller to the nearest unit, and door access code.

    Full instructions for use are given on the equipment.

    Flood Plan 2022


    It is considered unlikely that Gittisham Vale and Hayne Farm are susceptible to flood.

    The range and extent of local flooding from rivers and watercourses is shown on the plan below.

    The village centre is at significant risk of flooding. This may be caused by the local watercourse, the River Gitt, overtopping its flood protection walls or by surface water runoff from surrounding fields. The flooding in the village can be very quick as the surrounding fields are steep. Flooding may occur within 2 hours of the onset of heavy rainfall.

    The extent of the flood risk in the village, as a direct result of the overtopping of local watercourses , is shown on the following plan.

    The village has several properties which flood due to excessive surface water run off from the surrounding hills. In the centre of the village there are several low lying properties which flood due to surface water flows which are unable to enter the river channel, together with flows from the river channel which leave the channel and which cannot re-enter the watercourse. In addition there are surface water issues associated with the roads that run into the village.

    The identification of areas and property which are vulnerable to flooding as a result of excessive surface water runoff is shown on the following plan.

    Action Plan

    The village has been divided into 5 areas for the purposes of managing dissemination of flooding information (see following plan). The information will be  issued by the Environment Agency. Floodline Warnings Direct (FWD) is a free service from the Environment Agency that provides flood warnings by phone, text or email. The following people will act as Flood Wardens and will be registered with the EA to receive this information and upon receipt will then disseminate the information accordingly and liaise with their neighbours and the rest of the village during a flood event to minimise the risk to people and/or property.

    Area 1 : Carol Hall

    Tel No. 01404 850793

    Area 2 : Owen Morgan

    Tel No. 07734 720096

    Area 3 :Stephen Howe

    Tel No. 07793 006151

    Area 4: David Valentine

    Tel No. 01404 851322

    Area 5: Peter Stansell

    Tel No. 01404 42559

    Old Elm Balancing Pond: Peter Orchard

    Tel No. 07956 263260

    To assist with the receipt and passing on of information Cllr Carol Hall (01404 850 793) will act as the Flood Plan Co-ordinator. Cllr David Valentine (01404 851 322) will deputise when necessary.

    Flood Plan Co-ordinator : Carol Hall


    Area 1Area 2Area 3Area 4Area 5
    Carol HallOwen MorganStephen HoweDavid ValentinePeter Stansell
    DrillersEveleighsCurlditchTown Farm BuildingsParsonage
    Saunders BeaumontsMitchells Bakery/Olive TreeRiverside CrabbsClysthayesLane

    In addition to the FWD warning, action should also be taken when one or more of the following is observed :

    • There is heavy rainfall forecast
    • Heavy rain is observed
    • The river level is rising
    • Excessive surface water runoff is observed
    • An important drain/culvert is observed as being blocked

    Actions to be advised by Flood Wardens should include :

    • Information dissemination
    • Arranging sandbags
    • Moving valuables upstairs
    • Moving vulnerable people to a safe place

    Information of how individual properties can prepare for flooding can be found on http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/flooding. The latest flood alerts and weather reports can be found on http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/weather.htm. The Environment Agency also provides information at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/default.aspx.

    In extreme flooding situations the Emergency Services should be contacted for immediate assistance or East Devon District Council if multiple properties are flooded. The main EDDC contact number in such circumstances, is 01395 517528, or out of hours 01395 578237.


    The principal resource is the provision of sandbags. These are currently stored at the following locations.

    To assist with the diversions of surface water in Parsonage Lane there is a small sandbag store in the dutch barn opposite Goldcombe in upper Parsonage Lane.

    Snow Plan 2022


    The aim of the snow plan is to provide sufficient access to goods and services to the population of the parish in the event of a prolonged disruption to traffic due to snow and/or ice.

    It is not the intention to replace emergency services nor to provide support in the event of short-lived or minor disruption.

    DCC provision

    The C road from Iron Bridge at Fenny Bridges is on the secondary salting network. None of the other roads is on a salting programme. 

    Snow Wardens

    The following is registered as Snow Warden serving the Parish (including the Vale).

    Cllr Alex Rowe 07484 130119

    ~ volunteers are needed as of December 2022

    In support there is a group of snow volunteers, trained in accordance with DCC guidelines.

    Parish Provision

    The parish has 4 tonnes of salt/grit in 25kg bags stored at Gittisham Farm and Curlditch. A local farmer has snow-clearing equipment which can be used in heavy snowfall. There are a number of owners with 4WD vehicles that have been voluntarily used previously, in moderate conditions, to transport people and/or goods.

    Proposed Actions

    In the event of a major snowfall, or freezing conditions lasting more than 48 hours and which have caused substantial build up of icy surfaces:

    • The warden and volunteer network will be used to identify problem areas and individual needs;
    • The warden will assess local weather forecasts and consult with volunteers to determine priorities;
    • Icy surfaces will be salted in priority areas;
    • In the event of disruptive accumulations of lying snow, snow-clearing equipment will be deployed between Iron Bridge and Devonshire Road;
    • 4WD vehicles will be deployed on roads with moderate coverage of snow and/or ice to provide households with access to necessary goods and services and to move salt supplies to strategic locations;
    • Salt bins will be filled by DCC on their schedule. Parish supplies will be deployed to salt access routes to households and refill bins in exceptional circumstances.

    Parish Plan indicating location of Salt bins as of March 2022

    Green highlighted route

    • Road to Gittisham from-Heathpark past The Forge and through the village up Exeter Hill towards the farm.
    • And Old Elm Road

    There is a secondary salting route. This is gritted after primary routes and when weather conditions are expected to be freezing.

    Location of grit bins

    Village centre

    A: Grit Bin Unmarked Opposite Clyst Hayes, Halfway up Gittisham hill

    B:Grit Bin 369 next to the Village Green opposite Batts Cottage

    Outside Village

    C: Grit Bin 371 on the sharp corner between Landscore Ln and Westgate Lane

    D: Grit Bin 370 Crest of Westgate Hill

    E: Grit Bin 342 Opposite the entrance to Beach Walk

    F: Grit Bin 343 Three quarters up Gittisham Hill from Beach Walk

    G: Grit Bin 324 Top of Hayne Lane Y junction

    Gittisham Vale

    H: Grit Bin 323 Next to bus stop on at the end of Old Elm Rd

    I: Grit Bin 322 Approximately 100 meters from The River Gissage

    Outside Village

    J: Grit Bin Located at the Junction of Meadow Acre Road and Hayne Lane

    Appendix A: Contact Numbers


    Parish Clerk07899 932620Fiona Clampin
    Village Hall07880178297Hamish Hall
    Church07763 111367Julia Barrett
    Flood Warden01404 850 793Carol Hall
    Snow Warden07484130119Alex Rowe

    Emergency Services

    PoliceEmergency 999 Non emergency 101Emergencies
    Devon and Somerset Fire & RescueEmergency: 999 Office: 01392 872 200  Fire & flood rescue support
    Ambulance ServiceEmergency: 999 General: 01392 261621Medical emergencies

    Activation and Emergency Planning

    EDDC Cust. Serv.   EDDC Out of Hours Home Safeguard01395 517528 01395 516854Emergency planning
    DCC Emergency planning service01392 382680 Fax: 01392 382709Emergency planning
    EDDC Emergency Planner01395 517528Civil contingency
    Devon County Council0845 1551020General enquiries
    Gittisham Parish Council07899 932620General enquiries

    Flooding and forecasting

    Environment Agency0845 9881188 or Flood Incident Line 0800 80 70 60Floodline
    Environment Agency08708 506506General enquiries
    Met Office0870 9000100Weather
    Weathercall09014 722054Forecasting


    South West Water0800 169 1144Water leaks
    Western PowerOffice: 0845 601 2989 Silent: 0800 365 900Power cuts
    West & Wales Gas0800 111 999Gas leaks
    BT01525 290 647 0800 800 150Phones


    Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust01392 41611Medical
    Devon Primary Care Trust01392 205 205 0845 140 5005Medical
    NHS Direct111 111.nhs.ukAdvice
    Honiton Surgery01404 548 544Healthcare
    Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital01392 411 611Healthcare

    Animal Welfare

    RSPCAOffice: 0300 1234 555 24 hour: 0300 1234 99Animal welfare
    DSFRSA Large Animal Rescuevia on scene Fire CommanderLarge animal rescue
    Honiton Small Animal Clinic01404 42062Vet

    Vehicle Recovery

    AA Breakdown0800 88 77 66 0121 275 3746 
    AA Roadwatch0906 884 32284322 from mobile
    RAC Breakdown0800 828 282 
    Devon & Cornwall 4X4 Responsevia Police 

    Local Media

    BBC Radio Devon 104.3 FMNews 01752 234511 Travel 0845 300 2829 Exeter 01392 215 651 
    Heart Exeter 97.0 & 103.0 FM01392 444 444 
    Parish Council websitehttps://gittisham.org.uk/category/news/ 

    Emotional Support

    Samaritans0845 790 9090  
    Victim Support0845 303 0900 0845 676 1020 
    Citizens Advice South West01392 425 517 

    Glossary of terms