Get help and advice in an emergency

What to do when an emergency happens

In a major emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is to go inside a safe building.

Stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to local radio or TV for information.

  • 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

If you are at home when an emergency happens:

  • Bring your family and pets inside
  • Lock doors, close windows and air vents
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems
  • Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible
  • Watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available
  • Locate the electric, gas and water shut-off valves
  • Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves
  • Teach family members how to turn off utilities
  • If you turn the gas off, a professional must turn it back on. Do not attempt to do this yourself. Phone Corgi on 0870 401 2300 and for the Electrical Contractors Association 020 7313 4800

Create an evacuation plan

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighbourhood
  • If you have a car, keep a half tank of fuel in it at all times in case you need to evacuate
  • Become familiar with alternative routes and other means of getting out of your area
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to
  • Take your emergency kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated
  • Lock the door behind you
  • Take your pets with you

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Create an emergency kit

When preparing for a possible emergency situation, an emergency kit or 'grab bag' that you can easily take with you is useful.

Recommended items to include in a basic emergency kit

  • Water for drinking and sanitation
  • Food at least three days’ supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries or wind-up radio
  • Torch and extra batteries (or wind up type)
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Wet wipes, rubbish/bin bags and plastic ties for personal hygiene
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Tin opener for food (if kit contains tinned food)
  • Prescription medications and glasses if required

Additional items for a kit:

  • Infant formula milk and disposable nappies and nappy sacks if required
  • Pet care items if required
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, passports, National Insurance numbers, NHS numbers and bank account records in a waterproof container
  • Cash
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person; consider additional bedding during winter
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved top, trousers and sturdy shoes; consider additional clothing during winter
  • Water purification tablets
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items if required
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil

Make a kit for your pets

Your pet emergency kit should include:

  • Pet food and treats
  • Drinkable water in plastic bottles
  • Can opener for canned food
  • Pet medications and medical records in a waterproof container
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers so you can move your pets safely and they can’t escape (remember they may be scared and may act differently from usual)
  • Current photos of your pet in case they get lost
  • The name of your veterinarian
  • All your pets should have an identification tag and collar