Evacuating your Home
If your house is affected by an emergency, or is located in the surrounding area of an incident, the Emergency Services or Council may decide it is necessary to ask you to evacuate your property for your own safety.
This decision is not taken lightly, so it is important that you take this advice seriously.
We understand that evacuating your home may be daunting, so we suggest that you take the following steps:
- Try to stay calm and listen to the advice being given by the official telling you about the evacuation
- If possible, call a friend or relative to see if you can stay with them until the incident is over. Alternatively, you may want to make arrangements to stay in a local Bed & Breakfast or Hotel. If you do not have anyone suitable to stay with, or alternative accommodation options, you can contact the Council's Emergency Homelessness team for advice.
- Take your pets with you using a pet carrier or leash
- If time permits, think about important items you might want to take with you. Preparing an emergency 'grab bag' in advance would save you time
- If you are not in immediate danger, try to shut all doors and windows and turn off the electricity and gas when leaving
If an emergency occurs with little or no warning, such as a fire, you may need to make your own decision to evacuate if your personal safety is at risk. This kind of evacuation is likely to require quick decision making. We advise you read our section on home emergency plans to prepare for this possibility
In the event of a large scale evacuation, the council may open a rest centre to cater for basic immediate needs.
A Rest Centre may be made available to those evacuated due to an emergency. A Rest Centre provides a communal space where evacuees can gather on a temporary basis, gain access to refreshments and regular information updates from the scene.
Rest Centres are staffed by Haringey Council volunteers who are trained to assist people who have been evacuated.
The location of the Rest Centre is decided at the time of the incident but is usually opened in a school, community centre or similar public building.
If you are taken to a Rest Centre during an emergency you do not have to stay there. Once you have gathered your thoughts, you may prefer to contact a family member or friend to stay with. All we ask is that you notify a member of staff that you are leaving.
Whilst every effort is made to accommodate pets, some of the Rest Centre buildings do not allow animals inside. We advise that you make arrangements with a family member or friend to look after your pet until you are able to return home.
Like the many pet owners in the borough, your pet will likely be thought of as a member of the family. For this reason it is important to plan for your pet, as you would for your family in the event of an emergency.
Here are some tips to help with that preparation:
- Identify your pet – securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet’s collar. If you can, include the contact of a friend or family member as well as your own in case you are not able to be contacted
- Photograph your pet – Carry a photo of your pet to help identify them in the event you are separated
- Arrange for your pet to stay with a friend/family member if you are evacuated from your home
Create a stock of supplies so you are ready for an evacuation. This should include:
- Food – enough for 3 days. Store in an airtight, water-proof container
- Water – 3 days worth
- Medication – also have the name and dosage of the medication written down
- Harness or leash
- Pet carrier or crate
- Important documents (eg vaccination records)
- Sanitation goods e.g. pet litter and box, plastic bags and newspaper or paper towels
- Contact numbers e.g. vet, cattery/kennel, animal shelter
- Familiar items e.g. favourite toy, bedding (this will reduce the stress of your pet)
- Pet first aid kit – this should contain items such as a towel/board to act as a stretcher, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape, sterile saline solution for flushing wounds and eyes, gauze, towels or cloth to stem bleeding
If you must evacuate during an emergency, take your pet with you - do not leave them in your home on their own. However, if you are going to a public Rest Centre, it is important to understand that, depending on the location of the Rest Centre, animals may not be allowed inside. To prepare for this, please make arrangement in advance for your pet to stay with family or friends in the event of an emergency.
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