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Preparing for an emergency

Preparing for an emergency

What you can do to make sure you, your family and your business are prepared for an emergency

Major emergencies, such as floods, fires and utility failures, don't often happen in Bristol.  But it's important to be prepared, just in case.  

There are things you can do now to make sure you, your family and your business are ready for unexpected events.

What you can do now

  • Make sure you know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity supplies in your home or business
  • Find out what your home or business insurance policy covers you for
  • Find out if you live in a flood risk zone
  • Keep some emergency kit  such as torches and batteries, a battery operated or wind-up radio, a portable mobile phone charger, bottled water, spare blankets and bedding, a first aid kit

At home

  • Register as a vulnerable customer with your gas, water and electricity suppliers, if you're eligible.
  • Think about where you'll go if you're evacuated from your home, for example, a friend or relative.  If you have nowhere to go, find your nearest community place of safety.
  • Think about whether you'd take your pets if you were evacuated from your home.  Cats and indoor pets can usually cope on their own.  Dogs usually need to be evacuated with their owners.  If you were unable to return to your home for a short time, think about where your pets would be able to stay.
  • Make sure useful phone numbers are easy to find, such as your doctors, your children’s school, your vets, friends and relatives and your place of work.
  • Keep a list of any prescribed medicine you or family members rely on
  • Think about any elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours who may need your help
  • Always check the weather forecast before long journeys and keep some basic kit in your car, such as a blanket or extra clothes, water, ‘ready to eat’ food and a way to charge your mobile phone
  • Make sure all family members, including the children in your family, know how and when to phone 999

Your business

Emergencies can threaten the future of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses.

Business Continuity Management can help you understand:

  • any risks that your business may face
  • what you can do to keep your business running if your normal working conditions are disrupted

If an emergency does occur

  • stay calm and move away from hazards
  • call 999
  • unless the emergency services tell you differently, the best advice in an emergency is to ‘go in, stay in and tune in’
  • go inside somewhere you feel safe and comfortable, stay inside and tune into your local radio station, or look at a local news website to find out what's going on
  • contact friends and family and let them know that you're ok

If emergency services ask you to leave your home or place of work

If you're asked to leave your home or business, take essential items such as:

  • Keys
  • Any medication you or your family rely on  
  • Health aids, including glasses, hearing aids and mobility aids
  • Mobile phone and a charger
  • Baby food and baby care items, where necessary
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Warm, waterproof clothing
  • Sanitary and toiletry supplies

Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, if you're advised to do so

Lock all doors and windows.

Take any pets (with suitable carriers, leads, muzzles and food) that need to come with you

Inform emergency services of where you've gone and how you can be contacted.