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.
- If any elderly or vulnerable neighbours might need your help.
- Make up an emergency pack as below
It is recommended that all households are suitably prepared for the different types of hazard that we could face and in doing so should have an 'Emergency Pack' at hand at home, in the car and at work.
The contents of this pack may be a matter of preference, however, suggested contents should include:
- Lighting (torch/candles) and spare source of power such as batteries/matches.
- Cooking equipment - including tin opener, utensils and cutlery.
- Drink - bottled water and cans of juice
- Long life food and milk - check use by date and replace when necessary
- Portable radio including spare batteries
- First Aid kit
- Contact list
- Warm/dry clothing and blankets
- Medication and personal items such as glasses, baby items
- Make an evacuation checklist, items that you might need if you had to leave your home quickly.
- Gather mobile telephone and charger, keys and cash or credit cards.
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 boots
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.
General advice about what to do in an emergency
If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, your common sense and instincts will usually tell you what to do. However, it is important to:
- Made sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
- 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 - remember 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.
Of course, there are always going to be particular occasions when you should not "go in" to a building, for example if there is a fire. Otherwise: go in, stay in and tune in to local radio or television.