Prepare for an emergency

Be prepared - Helping Yourself

During a widespread major incident, for example prolonged severe weather or a terrorist attack, responders may not be able to reach you immediately.  In the worst scenario you may have to survive on your own for a number of days.  Power, gas and water facilities may be lost, or you may have to evacuate at short notice.

The response to a major incident is made much easier if we are all more informed and prepared.  Here are a few helpful steps you can take beforehand:

  • Make a list of important contact details, such as family, friends, neighbours, GP, veterinary surgery, public utility companies etc.
  • Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures both at work and for children at school.
  • Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies.
  • Know how to tune your radio to local stations.
  • Know how your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency.
  • Make up an emergency pack as below.

Emergency Pack

It is recommended that all households are suitably prepared for the different types of hazards that we could face and in doing so should have an ‘Emergency Pack’ at hand at home, in the car and at work.

Try using plastic boxes or backpacks to keep supplies together, make sure all members of the household know where the pack is kept.  The contents of this pack may be a matter of preference, however, suggested items should include:

Home Emergency Pack

Try to Keep enough of the following in your house to last all of you at least two days at all times:

Suggested list

  • Lighting (torch/candles) and spare source of power (batteries etc).
  • Cooking equipment (including tin-opener, utensils and cutlery).
  • Drink (cans of juice, bottled water etc).
  • Long life food and milk – Items that you can readily consume such as ready to eat meats, canned fruits, crackers, cereal bars or biscuits. Check use by date and replace when necessary.)
  • Portable radio and spare batteries.
  • First Aid Kit – Include items such as assorted bandages, cleansing agents, pain relief tablets.  Remember prescription medication.
  • Contact list
  • Warm / Dry clothing and blankets.
  • Personal hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste, feminine supplies
  • Medication (including baby items).
  • Entertainment items such as board games or books

In the Car:

These could vary depending on the time of the year, but could include items such as:

  • First Aid Kit.
  • Bottled Water.
  • Torch with spare batteries.
  • In car mobile telephone charger
  • Sweets or long life snacks
  • Blanket, warm clothing and woolly hat
  • Spare socks and gloves
  • Waterproof clothing and Wellington boots.  

At Work

It is recommended that you know your emergency procedures for your workplace.

Depending on the situation, you may have to remain at your workplace for safety, this could be overnight. It would be advantageous to consider what you would need if this happened.

Evacuation Checklist

It is also recommended that you make an evacuation checklist of items that you might need if you had to leave your home quickly such as your emergency pack, medication and personal items such as glasses, baby items, Mobile Telephone and charger, keys and cash or credit cards for example.

Updated: 6 March 2013