Be prepared

Everyone can take steps to prepare for emergencies.

How to prepare

You should take time to find out:

  • if friends or family can offer you a place to stay if you have to leave your property
  • your escape route, ensure you have keys for window locks both upstairs and downstairs
  • emergency procedures for your children at school
  • emergency procedures at your workplace
  • how your family will stay in contact in an emergency
  • who could look after your pets, if you have any, and how you'll get them there
  • any elderly or vulnerable neighbours who might need your help
  • how to access information at the time of an emergency (eg through the council website, council call centre, local radio station)
  • what specific hazards or events could affect you and your property

Protect your property and belongings

  • store items of value and important documents (birth certificate, passport) in waterproof or sealed plastic bags upstairs or high up in case of flood
  • know where and how to turn off water, gas, and electricity supplies in your home
  • check that you're insured; find out exactly what your insurance company will cover (eg temporary accommodation and if they'll arrange clean-up and repair work)

Prepare a grab bag

This is a useful bag that's packed with essentials in case you need to evacuate your home. It should be stored somewhere you can easily get to. Handy things to keep in your grab bag include:

  • a list of useful telephone numbers (local authority, insurance company, family and friends, Corgi registered gas engineer and trained electrician)
  • mobile phone charger
  • spare home and car keys
  • toiletries, sanitary supplies
  • first-aid kit
  • any essential medication, or details of your prescription
  • a wind-up or battery-operated radio with spare batteries
  • torch with spare batteries
  • cash and credit cards
  • spare clothes and blankets
  • sensible flat shoes
  • bottled water
  • a stock of non-perishable snack items
  • essential items for babies or pets

If you're asked by the emergency services to leave your home, do so as quickly and calmly as possible. If you have time, turn off electricity, gas, and water supplies, unplug appliances, and lock all windows and doors. Take your grab bag with you.

Protect your business

There are a number of steps you and your organisation can take to make sure your critical services carry on when an emergency or incident occurs. For more information, see our business continuity management page. 

Help your community

You can offer help to those around you who are less fortunate and may need assistance. For more information, see our community resilience page.

Page last updated: 18 August 2017