How can I plan for emergencies?
The chances of you being caught in an emergency are low but there are things you can do to help keep yourself, family, neighbours and friends safe.
Major incidents and evacuation
In a major incident the advice is to Go in, Stay In, Tune:
- go inside a safe building
- stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise
- tune in to a local radio or TV station for more information.
In the unlikely event of a major incident or emergency occurring in your area it may be unsafe for you to remain at home. You may be evacuated to a safe distance.
If large-scale evacuation occurs we will provide temporary, emergency rest centres but you may want to consider now where you might go instead. You may prefer to go to a friend or relative that lives out of the area.
Staying at home in an emergency situation
If you are told to stay at home in an emergency situation:
- keep all doors and windows closed
- move away from windows
- turn air conditioning off
- use your emergency pack and supplies
- tune in to a local radio station to keep informed
- stay close to a telephone – remember mobile networks may be jammed or down.
Make sure you know:
- how to turn off water, gas and electricity
- the emergency procedures for your child’s school and your workplace
- how you and your family will communicate – mobile networks may be down and cordless phones need power to charge
- where your battery powered, wind up or solar powered radio and torch are. Keep a list of local station frequencies so you can find out what is happening – don’t forget spare batteries too!
If you or anyone in your home has powered medical equipment such as a hoist or stairlift make sure you're registered for the priority list with the utility company. They will then be aware of your needs in the case of a power cut. You can register with Western Power through their website.
If you have a long power cut you can contact Western Power on their emergency number: 0800 6783 105.
Prepare a home emergency plan
Part of your home emergency plan is preparing an emergency bag. This is just a ready to go bag which contains essential items. If you include bottled water and long life food stuffs, it can be used in the event of evacuation or quarantine at home. If this is not practical for you then you could list items and where to find them in a hurry.
Your ready to go bag should include:
- photocopies of important documents such as insurances, passports, drivers licenses
- a copy of your household emergency plan
- a list of useful contact numbers such as family members, doctors, pharmacy - don't rely on being able to access these through your mobile phone
- a change of clothes per person and warm blankets
- a list of current medication or in date spares
- toiletries, sanitary items and nappies
- First Aid kit, rubber gloves and antibacterial gel
- torch (with spare batteries if not wind up), candles and matches
- radio (with spare batteries if not wind up) and list of local station frequencies
- bottled water and canned, dried or long life foods
- if you have one, a gas barbecue or camping stove could be utilised for cooking on in the event of power failure
- a basic tool kit may also prove helpful.
Make sure you check batteries and food items are still in date every so often.