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During an emergency

How to stay safe in an emergency situation

What to do in an emergency

Keep calm, don't panic.

Think before you act. Pay attention to advice from the emergency services.

If you're in an emergency and haven't been told what to do, usually you should:

  • Go in. Go inside and close all doors and windows. Shut down ventilation systems
  • Stay in. Stay inside for as long as it is safe to do so. Depending on the incident, stay away from doors and windows
  • Tune in. Tune in to your local radio station, TV or internet news channels. Emergency responders will use these to give advice to the public

There will be times where it is not safe to go in. Remember to use common sense and follow instructions given by emergency services. 

Many organisations also use social media to keep residents updated during an emergency. On Twitter, search:

  • Cambs Police
  • Cambs Fire & Rescue
  • BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
  • Fenland District Council

General safety advice

During an emergency:

  • Call 999 only in the event of injuries or if there is a threat to life
  • Check for injuries. Stay calm and reassure others around you
  • Listen to the advice from the emergency services
  • Never put yourself or others in any danger
  • Try to get to a safe place - this may not be your home
  • Limit phone calls - it keeps the lines free

Loss of utilities

We rely on utilities as part of life. They include electricity, gas, water, sewerage and telecommunications.

Loss of utilities can be caused by fire, flooding, severe flooding and accidents. Service can be lost for a few hours, days or weeks.

Impacts on the community could include:

  • disruption to essential services and activities
  • exposure to poor sanitation
  • limited drinking water
  • homes without heating, ability to cook and/or keep food cold
  • limited telecommunications

Think about how loss of utilities could affect your life or business. By making plans, you can better cope in the event of it happening. Examples include:

  • keeping a battery powered or wind-up torch at home
  • keeping a battery or wind-up radio at home
  • having a home phone that doesn't need electricity (not cordless) in order to work
  • keeping a list of emergency contact numbers for your utility companies
  • keeping a list of important contact numbers (not just stored in your mobile phone in case the battery runs out)
  • knowing where the shut-off points are in your home for gas, electricity and water
  • keeping an eye on vulnerable neighbours

Power cuts

UK Power Networks own and maintain electricity cables and mains across the East of England. They offer the following advice: 

You can call the free power cut line - 105 - to report or get information about power cuts. You can also get more information on the power cut website.

Some people may need extra help during a power cut. These people can apply for priority service.

Loss of water supply

Burst water mains can lead to a loss of supply. Anglian Water supply water and water recycling services in the East of England. They offer the following advice:

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