top of page

Kent Community Risk Register 

Very high risks

The 'very high risks' outlined on this page are primary or critical risks requiring immediate attention. They may have a high or low likelihood of occurrence, but their potential consequences are such that they must be treated as a high priority.


This may mean that strategies should be developed to reduce or eliminate risks, but also that mitigation in the form of at least (multi-agency) generic planning, exercising and training should be put in place and the risk monitored on a regular frequency.

Consideration should be given to planning being specific to the risk rather than generic.

Natural hazards

Major coastal and tidal flooding


This risk is based on the reasonable worst case scenario of a tidal flood affecting multiple counties along the East Coast. National resources would need to be shared across counties. It is anticipated that there would be up to 4 days advanced warning of a potential event, with confidence in forecasts becoming greater closer to the event. Confirmation of anticipated flooding would be between 24-8 hours before the event occurring.

Emergency services operations may be impacted if they are within the inundation zone and rescues would be required by specialist vehicles. Immediate evacuation may be required and infrastructure and utilities may suffer significant damage.


It is assumed that a significant proportion of those who are required to evacuate would choose to stay with friends and relatives. Planning assumptions suggest up to 142,000 people in Kent and Medway may need assistance with shelter for up to 5 days, with some of those requiring ongoing support for up to 12 months. Historically, East Coast flood events initiate in the north and work down the coast, with Kent being the last county affected. In historical events the Thames Estuary has also served to mitigate some of the impacts of the surges.

This assessment considers a 'regional' event in which water flows create a danger to life. The depth and velocity of water flows can be variable depending on location and weather.

Mutual aid is highly likely to be required from other regions. Due to the scale of the event it is likely that national resources would need to be prioritised.

Infrastructure and economic recovery could take between 6 and 18 months.

Visit our preparing for flooding advice pages

Accidental and system failure risks

Loss of a port


The loss of a port in Kent an Medway could be due to an infrastructure or transport failure, severe weather, a counter-terrorism incident or a no-notice border closure.

This risk is the primary impact of the loss of the strategic road network and the KRF has extensive plans in place to manage this risk.


Loss of the strategic road network


The reasonable worst case scenario will see all major, minor and local roads becoming congested with traffic diverting to alternative routes. The ability for essential services, including blue light operations, health and social care provisions will be significantly impacted. Kent's strategic roads are M20 and M2, providing access to the ports.

KRF work together with National Highways and local highways to ensure plans for managing the flow through the gateway to Europe are tested and the infrastructure is suitable for ensuring that the county keeps moving during times of disruption and local community disruption is kept to a minimum.


Failure of electricity network


This scenario involves a total failure of the national electricity transmission network lasting up to 5 days, with potential for some areas to remain without power for up to 14 days. Power stations require an amount of power to carry out the generation process. In the event of a full loss of power it would be necessary to manually restart many power stations using an external input of power. This is a well rehearsed process, however it would take some time to implement and restore full power generation to the UK.


Demand for power is highest during the winter so this is considered within the assessment. Whilst this risk is technically feasible, it has never previously occurred and numerous control measures are in place to prevent it from happening. In this scenario and smaller scale disruptions, it may be necessary to implement 'rota disconnections' to ration the power that it available. In this case customers would have scheduled periods without power. Emergency services have arrangements in place to ensure they can continue to operate without power for extended periods of time.


Disease risks


Pandemics - Influenza and Covid 19


Infectious diseases can have a significant health impact, particularly on those with existing health conditions and can cause a strain on the health sector.


New pandemic viruses spreads rapidly causing worldwide impacts. It generally occurs when a new strain emerges for which there is no current vaccination.


It is unlikely that a pandemic would originate in the UK, however due to the nature of international travel the UK will be at risk. The World Health Organisation maintains constant international surveillance to monitor and track any emerging outbreaks.


Symptoms will vary depending on the nature of the strain, however commonly include headache, fever, cough, sore throat and aching muscles and joints. The most common secondary complications from influenza are bronchitis and secondary bacterial pneumonia. More details can be located on the NHS website. 

Visit our infectious diseases advice pages

bottom of page