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Preparing a Household Emergency Plan
Creating a Household Emergency Plan for you and those close to you is very important as it will help you to stay calm if an emergency were to take place. Your safety is very important and being prepared can make emergencies easier to cope with.
What should a plan include?
A Household Emergency Plan should aim to include information that will:
- Ensure members of your household are able to stay in touch by identifying friends or relatives that could be used as a central contact
- Help anyone near you who may need help especially if they are elderly or vulnerable.
- Give practical advice on what to do if you are advised to remain in your house or advised to evacuate, including preparing an Emergency Ready Bag
- Where and how to turn off electricity, water and gas supplies at your home.
- Details of television or radio news stations, to keep you updated.
Writing Your Household Emergency Plan
If an emergency occurs your first action should always be to contact the emergency services by dialling 999.
- Follow instructions given by the emergency services or local authority supported by information included in your plan.
- In a major emergency the safest place for anyone not directly involved in the incident is usually in their own home or if not near home, in a building. People who believe they may possibly be affected by the incident should follow the standard advice "Go in, Stay in, Tune in", which means go inside a safe building, stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to a local radio or TV for information.
- Of course, there are always going to be particular occasions when you should not "go in", for example if there is a fire, or you are advised differently by the emergency services or your own common sense.
Working Together / What Next
Preparing for emergencies cannot be done in isolation.
- Are there members of your family, friends or neighbours who would benefit from having a Household Emergency Plan?
- Could you help them write a plan, especially if they are elderly or vulnerable?
- Could your plans be written to help and support each other?