Preparing for an emergency

The importance of community resilience

Although the Council and the Emergency Services lead the response and recovery operations of emergencies, it is important for the community to take steps to increase their own capability to cope in an incident. Follow the steps provided under each risk in the table to help make yourself more resilient in the event of an emergency.

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Know the risks

Winter Weather | Storms and High Winds | Fire | Power Failure

Heatwaves | Flooding | Influenza | Hazardous Materials

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How will I find out about an emergency that might affect me?

It is the Councils responsibility to make sure that necessary arrangements are in place to warn and inform the public in the event of an emergency that may affect them. In an emergency the council will endeavour to provide up to date information for the public via the news page on our website, social media channels and via our Customer Service Centre.

The Governments advice to the public in the event of an emergency that doesn’t have a direct threat to life is to:

  • Go in - Go inside and shut all doors and windows
  • Stay in - Stay inside unless told otherwise by the Emergency Services
  • Tune in - Turn on the news via television or radio for updates on the situation

The Emergency Services and Council will advise you of what you should do if you are in the area that is affected by the incident. There is a possibility that this could include evacuation, please see our Evacuating your Home page for details of what this might involve.

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Home Emergency Plan

Emergencies can occur with little or no warning so it is important to be prepared. Take a few minutes with other members of your household to discuss the following considerations to take to prepare for the event of an emergency.

  • Do you have any vulnerable people in your household?
    • Vulnerable groups include babies and young children, elderly people and people with disabilities or chronic illness
    • These people may be less able to help themselves in an emergency
  • Identify an alternative exit route out of the household in the event of the primary route being obstructed during an emergency
    • Try to keep this route clear of any obstructions
  • If a major emergency was to occur it is likely mobile networks will become ineffective due to high usage, therefore you should choose two location options (other than your home) to meet if you become separated for any reason.
    • The identification of a secondary option is advised in case the first is affected by the emergency
    • Ensure all household members know the whereabouts of these location
  • Is there someone you could stay with if you had to evacuate your home?
    • Contact this person in advance and try to set up an arrangement with each other
  • In some emergencies (such as floods) you should turn your water, gas and electricity off for safety reasons. Would you know how to do this safely?
    • If not, contact your supplier to find out how
  • Create a grab bag in accordance with the guidance provided, and place it in an easily accessible place within your house. Make sure all members are aware of its location
  • Create an emergency contacts list in accordance with guidance
  • If you have children, decide who will contact your child’s school if the emergency occurs during school hours
  • Ensure all members are aware of what to do in different types of emergency 

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How to make your grab bag

In the event of an emergency, you may be required to leave your home with little or no warning for the sake of your own safety.
Putting together a ‘grab bag’ and keeping it somewhere that is easily accessible may be useful in the event of an evacuation.
A grab bag refers to a box/bag of important items that you are likely to require in any emergency situation.

Even if you do not make up a grab bag, spare a few minutes to think about key items you would want to take with you if you had to make a hasty retreat. Try to keep these items in easily accessible areas.

Items we suggest you include in your grab bag include:

  • Identification
  • Money and bank cards
  • Insurance documents
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Set of home and car keys
  • Personal prescription medication
  • Torch
  • Whistle (for raising alarm or signalling attention)
  • Battery/wind up radio
  • Spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Bottled water
  • Non perishable food items (e.g. cereal bars)
  • Warm layers of clothing and/or blankets
  • Rain Mac/umbrella
  • Emergency contact numbers

Alter the content of your grab bag according to specific needs. For example, if you have a small child you may want to include nappies, baby food and a toy for comfort.

For further guidance on evacuating your home go to the Evacuating your home page.

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Emergency contact list

Creating an emergency contact list of important contacts can prove invaluable to save time in the event of an emergency. Keep a copy in your grab bag and another copy in an easily accessible location in your home.

If you have a mobile phone, save your emergency contacts/next of kin with the prefix ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency). For example:

  • ICE <contact name> 020 1234 5678

This will enable the emergency services to contact your next of kin in the event of you not having the ability to do so yourself.

You may want to include the following numbers:

  • Emergency Services – 999
  • NHS Direct – 111
  • Haringey Council – 020 8489 0000
  • Doctor
  • Work
  • Child’s school
  • Carer/ social worker
  • Gas/Electricity/Water provider
  • Insurance provider (and policy number)

Here are some numbers you may find useful:

  • UK Power Networks - 105
  • Thames Water – 0845 9200 800
  • National Grid Transco Gas – 0800 111 999
  • EDF Energy – 0800 111 999
  • Environment Agency Flood Line – 0345 988 1188
    • Type talk (for the hard of hearing) - 0345 602 6340
  • Transport for London – 0343 222 1234 (charges may apply)
  • BBC London – 94.9FM

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British Red Cross free emergency app

The British Red Cross has launched a Free Emergency App that will send you instant alerts about severe weather and other emergencies that may affect the area where you live - it also offers clear and practical advice on what to do in emergencies such as car breakdowns, flooding or fires.

Available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

For more information and instructions on how to download the free emergency app please visit the British Red Cross website (external link).

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Protect Your business

It is important to take steps to protect your business. There are a number of things you or your organisation could do to minimise the impact of an incident on key services and reduce the time it takes to return to normal operating standards.
For more information please visit the Business Continuity Management page.

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Page last updated:

April 22, 2022

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