Preparing your home for emergencies

An emergency is any situation which may seriously threaten your health, welfare or security or which may cause significant damage to buildings or property.

The chances of being caught up in an emergency are low, but it is important to be prepared. 

Reporting a problem

If an emergency happens, call 999 or 112 as soon as it is safe to do so.

You can also dial 101 to report crime or other concerns to the police that do not require an emergency response.

For assistance from the council, please see this list of council contacts which covers both urgent and routine services.

Advice in an emergency:

  • Stay calm and don’t panic.
  • Don’t put yourself or others in danger.
  • Listen to advice from the emergency services.
  • Check yourself for injuries before helping others.
  • Find a safe place and stay there until advised otherwise.
  • Tune into local radio or television, or check official accounts on social media, for more information.

For flood advice visit the Environment Agency website or call them on 0345 988 1188.

Further local flood risk information for Knowsley can be found on the Lead Local Flood Authority section of the website. 

Flood Re is the national scheme designed to help provide better access to affordable home insurance for those in high flood-risk areas across the UK. It represents a long-term, sustainable approach to providing home insurance for those at flood risk.  

For severe weather advice visit the Met Office website.

For advice following loss of power visit SP Energy Networks.

Preparing your household

Even without an emergency, it is helpful - where possible - to keep your home stocks of food, medication and other essentials at sensible levels. Don't let these run down so low that you would immediately or quickly be unable to manage in the event of something unexpected happening.

A good way to make sure you and your family are fully prepared to deal with any emergency is to make a household emergency plan.

This is something you should discuss with the whole family, so that everyone is ready to react to any incident.

You should make your household emergency plan specific to your family and your needs, but there are a few things you should particularly think about:

  • What sort of emergencies or serious incidents could happen?
  • What are the best ways to get out of the house safely in an emergency?
  • Does everyone in the family know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains?
  • Do you the have right level of home insurance and is your policy up to date?
  • If you have pets, where would they go if you had to leave your home?
  • How would other family routines – like the school run, or getting to work – change in an emergency?
  • Do you have vulnerable members of your family who would need extra support in an emergency?
  • Have you got an emergency bag containing your family’s essential items?

Also it is always useful to consider having:

  • Bottled water, ready to eat food (e.g. tinned food) and bottle/tin opener, in case you have to remain in your home for several days

Emergency bag

If you and your family need to leave your home during an emergency, it is a good idea to have an emergency bag or kit containing essential items.

Put your emergency kit together now and keep it in an easily accessible place to collect in the event of an emergency.

You may want to include some of the items below:

  • Medication.
  • First aid kit.
  • Glasses or contact lenses.
  • Nappies and other essentials for babies.
  • Mobile phone and charger.
  • Money.
  • Debit or credit card.
  • Pocket torch.
  • Battery-powered or wind-up rechargeable radio.
  • Passports.
  • Driving licences.
  • Emergency contact lists, including insurance details.
  • Spare keys.

If you have time:

  • Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows.

When you return home:

  • Open windows to provide fresh air before reconnecting gas, electricity and water supplies. Remember that if any of these have been stopped as a result of an emergency, the utility company may need to access your home to restore the supply safely.

Preparing your car

It is a good idea to make sure you have some essential items in your car in case you are in it during an emergency or need to use it to evacuate from your home.

It also makes sense to keep these items in your vehicle all the time in case you break down or get stuck in bad traffic:

  • First aid kit.
  • Water.
  • Snacks with a long shelf-life.
  • Torch.
  • Phone charger that can plug into your car.
  • Blankets.
  • Waterproof clothing and footwear.
  • Gloves.
  • Thick socks.
  • Shovel.

‘In Case of Emergency’ [ICE] – Emergency contact information

If you were involved in an accident, would the emergency services know who to contact if you are injured and unable to tell them?

ICE stands for ‘in case of emergency’ and it will help the emergency services contact friends and family.

  • In your mobile phone address book, simply add the letters ICE in front of the name of the person you would want to be contacted.
  • You can have more than one ICE contact - simply save them as ICE 1, ICE 2 etc.
  • If you don’t have a mobile why not keep your ICE details in your purse or wallet.
  • Make sure your ICE contacts are aware of any specific medical requirements you may have.

You and your 'emergency friend' could also prepare to help each other in a number of ways if you are affected by an emergency.

Helpful Apps

The British Red Cross Emergency App advises of emergencies in your area and contains a range of general advice.

The citizenAID app provides advice for actions and first aid in the event of an incident with multiple casualties.

Further advice

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