My House

Many of us plan for emergencies in one way or another.

We may decide to give the spare house keys to a neighbour, carry a donor card or even keep a first aid box. While many people keep a torch near to the electricity meter box or in another handy place in the event of a power cut.

Being prepared and knowing how to deal with a stressful situation quickly and effectively is important when there is an emergency. By taking some simple steps you can reduce the impact of an emergency on your family and home. This does not require any specialist knowledge, only a few moments of your time. Put together a Household Emergency Plan; this should include:

An ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact list of all important telephone numbers, such as;

  • Family.
  • Friends and neighbours.
  • Your children's school.
  • Your GP.
  • Veterinary surgery.
  • Your gas, water and electricity suppliers.
  • Your Council.
  • Your insurers and so on.

Think about carrying one or more of your ICE on your mobile or in your wallet or purse. On your phone, simple add ‘ICE’ to the person you wish to be your emergency contact. This means that if they need to, emergency responders can contact people who you know, and potentially get important information such as medical details, as quickly as possible.

Your plan should also include;

  • Arrangements on how your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit, including additional items should in the unlikely event you are suddenly advised to leave your home

In addition:

  • Familiarise yourself with how to switch off gas, electricity and water supplies to your home.
  • Make sure that you have adequate insurance.

Go In. Stay In. Tune In.

  • In a major emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is for you and your family to go inside, turn off any air-conditioning or ventilation equipment, and stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise.
  • Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible and tune in to local radio or TV for information.
  • Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
  • Always listen carefully to the advice of the emergency services – and follow their instructions.
  • Try to remain calm and think before acting, try to reassure others and don’t put yourself or others in danger.
  • Locate the electric, gas and water shut-off valves and ensure you keep the necessary tools nearby.
  • Teach family members how to turn off utilities.

In the event of a major emergency, if your children are at school you will naturally want to collect them as soon as possible, but it may not be safe to do so. Please tune in to your local radio station for advice and for details of the arrangements your local council has made for letting parents know when to collect their children from school. Some schools will have systems in place to contact you. Schools should have arrangements to cope with local emergencies and teachers and support staff will do all they can to look after the pupils in their charge.