Many of us will experience minor emergencies throughout our lives – power cuts, the car breaking down or a burst water pipe. Some of us may be unfortunate enough to be involved in a major emergency or disaster of the type we plan for in the London Resilience Partnership. By following these simple steps, you and your family can be better prepared to cope with both minor emergencies and disasters.
Here are our top ten tips to become better prepared:
- Find out what emergencies may affect you – have a look at our London Risk Register to learn more
- Make a plan with important information you may need in an emergency, such as emergency contact details and phone numbers for your insurance company, utilities etc.
- Know how to turn off your electricity, water and gas supplies
- Find out the frequencies for your local radio station(s), and consider buying a wind-up radio so you can tune into the latest news if the power is off
- Make sure all members of your household carry emergency contact details so you can stay in touch during an emergency
- Plan for how you would look after your pets if you had to be evacuated from your home (emergency accommodation shelters may not be able to take animals other than assistance dogs)
- Pack a bag of essential items (see below) you may need during an emergency, or if you have to evacuate your home at short notice
- Speak to your friends and neighbours to find out if they may need your help during an emergency, and if you can help them prepare
- Find out the emergency arrangements at your workplace and/or children’s school
- Learn first aid – this could give you the skills to help relatives, friends and others during an emergency.
Emergency grab bag
Preparing an emergency grab bag can help ensure you have key documents and items to hand. Your bag should be small enough to easily carry and all members of your household should know where to find it.
You may want to include the following items:
- a copy of your household emergency plan with emergency phone numbers
- copies of important documents eg passport, driving licence and insurance documents
- spare house and car keys
- a wind-up or battery-powered radio (with spare batteries)
- a torch with spare batteries, or a wind-up torch
- mobile phone with emergency charger
- cash and credit cards
- spare medication and details of any prescriptions you require
- toiletries and personal first aid kit
- any special essential items for yourself or members of your family (eg glasses, hearing aids, nappies, baby formula and food)
- spare clothing and blankets
- emergency bottled water and easy-to-carry food, eg energy bars or dried food
- emergency medication and food for pets
- notepad and pen/pencil
You may want to prepare a smaller emergency grab bag to keep in your car, particularly if you are going on a long journey or driving in bad weather conditions.
To find out about preparing for specific emergencies, explore our London Risk Register or click on the links below: