Q298: Can you give any advice on how to prepare for an emergency?

The government has prepared a leaflet about what to do in an emergency and it also lists specific emergencies and very basic first aid tips. The leaflet should have been distributed to every home in the country, if you did not receive a copy and want one or want more information see the related website.

The leaflet is called Preparing for emergencies and the following information is taken directly from the leaflet.

To prepare for an emergency, you should take time to find out:

  • Where and how to turn off the water, gas and electricity supplies in your home.
  • The emergency procedures for your children at school.
  • The emergency procedures at your workplace.
  • How your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency.
  • If any elderly or vulnerable neighbours might need your help.
  • How to tune in to your local radio station.

If you are at home and an emergency happens, try to gather together:

  • A list of useful phone numbers such as your doctor's and close relatives'.
  • Home and car keys.
  • Toiletries, sanitary supplies and any regularly prescribed medication.
  • A battery radio with spare batteries.
  • A torch with spare batteries, candles and matches.
  • A First Aid kit.
  • Your mobile phone.
  • Cash and credit cards.
  • Spare clothes and blankets.

Also, it is always useful to have bottled water, ready-to-eat food (e.g. tinned food) and a bottle/tin opener, in case you have to remain in your home for several days.

In certain very unlikely situations, you may be asked to leave your home by the emergency services. If this happens, leave as quickly and calmly as possible. And, if you have time:

  • Turn off the electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows.
  • See the items listed above for what to take with you.

If you leave by car, take bottled water and blankets, and tune in to local radio for emergency advice and instructions.

When you are told that it is safe to return home, open windows to provide fresh air before reconnecting the gas, electricity and water supplies.

The above information is Crown copyright and is reproduced with permission.

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