Local emergency responders will always have to prioritise those in greatest need during an emergency, especially where life is in danger. There will be times when an emergency may affect you, but you or your families’ lives are not in immediate danger.
During this time, you need to know how to help yourself and those around you. By becoming more resilient, you can complement the work of local emergency responders and reduce the impact of an emergency on your family both in the short and long term.
General advice on preparing for emergencies
Make sure you have suitable insurance; the Association of British Insurers website has useful information on home insurance and flood insurance
Write an emergency contacts list.
Think about where you would go and stay – and how you would get there – if an emergency meant that you couldn’t stay at home.
Make an emergency plan or a flood plan in 10 minutes and discuss it with your family and friends so they know what to do
Put together a ‘Grab Bag’ of things to take in an emergency
Take time to find out:
Where and how to turn off water, gas and electricity supplies in your home.
The emergency procedures for your children at school.
The emergency procedures at your workplace.
If any elderly or vulnerable neighbours might need your help.
How to tune in to your local radio station.
If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, your common sense and instincts will
usually help you to determine what to do. However, it is important to:
Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
Do not put yourself or others in danger.
Follow the advice of the emergency services.
Try to remain calm and think before acting and try to reassure others.
Check for injuries – remembering to help yourself before attempting to help others.
If you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, in most cases the advice is:
Go inside a safe building
Stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise
Tune in to local radio or TV for more information
There are, of course, particular occasions when you should not ‘go in’ to a building and in all cases, you should follow the advice of the emergency services in the area.