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Emergency or contingency planning

What you can do in an emergency

How to help yourself

During an emergency the emergency services and other responding organisations such as North Warwickshire Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council will do their best to help you. But you can help make emergency situations less stressful for yourself by making some simple practical preparations now before an emergency occurs.

The best way to do this is to make sure you consider the following three things:

  • Plan in advance
  • Be ready to look after yourself for up to three days without leaving your home
  • Be ready to leave your home if you are told to do so for your own safety or if you choose to leave your home to stay with friends, family, or at alternative accommodation.

The better prepared you are, the better you will cope in an emergency.

Plan in advance

You could put together an emergency plan for your family or household. You might want to include the following information:

  • The emergency arrangements for your children at school
  • Where and how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies in your home
  • Contact details for your family or friends
  • Details of anyone you know who might need help, especially if they are elderly or vulnerable

Make sure you have supplies

There might be occasions when you are forced to stay in your home for several days. It is always useful to make sure you have the following in stock in case this happens:

  • Bottled water
  • Ready to eat food (e.g. tinned food)
  • A bottle/tin opener

Be ready to leave your home

In an emergency some people might be asked to leave their homes - this decision will always be taken as a last resort and will only be taken if staying in the home will put people in serious danger. Always follow the advice of the emergency services.

Preparing a bag containing your essential items will save you time and worry if you do need to evacuate your home. In London the call it a "Ready Bag", in New York they call it a "Go Bag". All of our needs are different, but a simple list might include:

  • Important documents, e.g. Passport, driving licence, house insurance etc.
  • List of important phone numbers (not just family and friends - you might also need numbers for doctors, utility companies, banks etc.. You can find these on your latest bill / statement)
  • Personal medication and toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Battery or wind-up torch and radio (and spare batteries)
  • Candles and matches
  • Spare clothes and blankets
  • Rubber gloves (these are particularly important during floods)
  • Mobile phone charger

In the unlikely event that you have to leave your home during an emergency, make sure that you have contacted a friend, relative or neighbour to tell them where you are going and let them know when you have arrived.

Other advice

The Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Councils' Resilience Team website has lots of common sense advice on how you can help yourself and others in emergencies.

You can find out whether your home is at risk of flooding on the Floodline website and also register for the Environment Agency's Floodline Warnings Direct service.

Last updated Monday, 9th March 2020

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