My House


It's important to be prepared no matter where you are. There is a lot you can do to make yourself, your family and business better prepared for emergencies of disruptive events.


Taking some simple steps can reduce the impact of an emergency on your family and home.  It doesn’t need specialist knowledge just a few moments of yours and your family’s time.  A good first step is to put in place a ‘Home Emergency Plan’.

Although you may never need to use it, it is an excellent way to prepare yourself should an emergency happen.  In putting your plan together, involve your entire family, have a discussion about what should be included.  This will also make them aware that there is a plan and what needs to be done.

There is not a right or wrong way to prepare a ‘Home Emergency Plan’, but here are a few points to consider:

  • Think about the types of emergencies that could happen – snow, flooding, major power loss.
  • Think about how an emergency could change your family routines – severe weather affecting the daily school run.
  • If you had to leave your home, what arrangements would you need to look after your pets?
  • Agree a number of safe alternative meeting points for your family in case you can’t go home.
  • Arrange how your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency.
  • Familiarise yourself and your family on how to switch off the gas, electricity and water supplies to your home.
  • If you had to stay in your home for a period of time or if you lost power, water etc, what provisions would you need?
  • Make sure you have up to date and adequate home insurance.
  • Have a backup of key important documents such as insurance documents; birth certificates etc. How would you access these?
  • Are there vulnerable members of your family – will they need extra help in an emergency?Think about your neighbours – are they vulnerable or disabled? Could you help them?

As time goes by, you may make changes to your home or your family circumstances may change. It makes sense to regularly review your Home Emergency Plan and update where necessary.

Home ‘Emergency Kit’

Some major emergencies may require you to remain in your home for a period of time and you may lose your power supply or water.  By preparing a Home ‘Emergency Kit’, can make you and your family more prepared to deal with most emergencies.

When preparing your ‘Emergency Kit’ the following items should be on your list:

  • A battery powered or preferably a wind up torch and radio
  • Candles and matches, a supply of spare batteries
  • Fresh bottled water, Tinned/Long-life food (don’t forget the tin opener)
  • Some warm clothing
  • Blankets (sleeping bags are a good alternative)
  • Personal and family medication; a First Aid Kit
  • List of important telephone numbers, such as; Family and Friends; Children’s School; GP; Vets; Utility Supplier; Insurers

Leaving your Home in an Emergency

Unfortunately some emergencies will require the public, for health and safety reasons, to be evacuated while the emergency services deal with the incident.

Hopefully this will never happen to you, but if it should it is important that you listen to the advice given by the emergency services and leave as quickly and calmly as possible.

Also if you have time

  • Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows
  • Take the items in your ‘Emergency Kit’ plus:
    • Keys (both home and car)
    • Money & credit cards
    • Mobile phone and charger
    • If you leave by car, check and consider driving conditions before setting off as it may be too dangerous (e.g. floodwater, heavy snow). If it is safe to leave by car take bottled water and blankets.
    • Take your pets (with suitable carriers or leads)
    • Tune in to local radio for emergency advice and instructions
    • Inform the on-site emergency services of where you have gone and how you can be contacted.
    • Inform relatives unaffected by the emergency of your whereabouts to prevent any unnecessary concern.

Returning Home after an Emergency

Listen to advice from emergency services, local authorities and utility companies about any specific actions which you must follow when it is safe to return home.