Preparing for the unexpected.

The risks that the London – and UK as a whole – faces are constantly changing. So how do we plan and prepare so London remains resilient?

London at a glance

London's demography – what does our city look statistically

The 2011 Census recorded the resident population of London at nearly 8.2 million people. This represents a growth of around one million people in the 10-year period since the 2001 Census. The population in London is now at 8.6 million and this matches the peak population recorded in 1941 (also 8.6 million when adjusted for the Greater London area).

The population in 1965 was around 8 million and contracted over the next four decades when in 1991 the census recorded just 6.4 million people. Since then the population has increased and is projected to increase further, to over 10 million by 2031.

Whichever way you look at it – London is a big city. And it's getting bigger...

Keeping millions safe

What do we mean by supporting the resilience of London?

London Fire Brigade must have appropriate arrangements in place to respond to emergencies, and can maintain its core service provision. This means that we need to plan for the unexpected, as well as our day-to-day responsibilities of education, prevention and response.

What risks does London face?

The risks that the London – and UK as a whole – faces are constantly changing. The government monitors the most significant emergencies that the UK could face over the next five years through the National Risk Assessment (NRA). The National Risk Register (NRR) is the public version of this assessment. It provides advice on how people, businesses and the emergency services can better prepare for civil emergencies, providing an assessment of the likelihood and potential impact of a range of different civil emergency risks.

The London Resilience Team (LRT)

Since November 2014, we have assumed operational responsibility for London-wide resilience – though this is overseen by the Greater London Authority.

We focus on three areas:

  1. Resourcing and developing the staffing of the new London Resilience Group.
  2. Considering and adopting best practice in resilience both national and internationally.
  3. Updating the London Resilience risk register considering both national and London-specific risks.

Working with other agencies

In an emergency, we need to work with other agencies including police, medical, military, and security service, and be ready to react effectively, whatever the nature of the incident. By looking ahead, we'll work seamlessly should something unforeseen occur. 

Specialist equipment

London Fire Brigade has a range of specialist vehicles and equipment to respond to emergency incidents with the capability to deliver a co-ordinated response to a range of serious, significant or catastrophic incidents that have a national impact, including:

  • Floods.
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) explosive incidents.
  • Urban search and rescue.
  • Water and high volume pumping.
  • Command and control if there is a major incident.
  • Emerging threats


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