What to do in an emergency
How to stay safe in an emergency situation
This will vary depending on the emergency. Some general advice though:
- Stay calm, and think before you act.
- Call 999, only when life is threatened, people are injured, offenders are nearby or immediate action is required. Ask for the most appropriate emergency service, they will alert the others if required.
- Follow the advice of 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.
- 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. Check for updates on:
- Local radio
- Emergency Services websites
- Emergency services and local authority social media sites
- Internet news channels.
There will be times where it is not safe to go in. If a building is on fire, get out and stay out and call 999. Remember to use common sense and follow instructions given by emergency services.
During an emergency:
- If the emergency services ask you to evacuate the area for your safety, please co-operate. They will advise you on where to go, and local councils may provide Rest Centres and arrange transport if necessary.
- Try and reassure others and help emergency services by informing them of anyone you know who is vulnerable and may need help.
- If safe to do so, check on vulnerable neighbours.
- Limit phone calls to keep lines free - phone networks can get overloaded during emergencies.
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
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.
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: