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Planning for emergencies

The chances of you or your family being caught up in an emergency are low, but it is important to prepare just in case this happens. 

There are several ways you can prepare for emergencies ensuring everyone knows what to do and how to stay safe during an emergency.

Is your property is at risk of flooding? If so here are some measures, you might consider:

Outside / Garden

  • Build a wall round your gardens or use solid fencing to help stop the water reaching your property. This may also include flood resistant gates.
  • A storm porch can protect the entrance of your house from bad weather.
  • Build low embankments around your property to try and stop or slow the flow of water to your house.
  • Put non-return valves in waste pipes and water outlets
  • Use water-resistant external doors on your property to help stop the water getting in.
  • Have a store of portable items such as free-standing barriers that you can move in to place when needed.
  • Install or use airbrick or periscope covers that seal automatically during a flood.


  • Pump & sump systems to rid of floodwater that has managed to get in.
  • Use flood resilient skirting boards that are plastic and glued on rather than nailed.
  • Fill under-floor voids using concrete to delay flooding from the ground.
  • If possible raise white goods such as washing machines and fridges.
  • Seal floors (known as "tanking")
  • Make sure you store items that might be at risk upstairs.
  • Raise electrical sockets, TV points etc
  • Install a flood resilient kitchens made from plastic or stainless steel; or have a free standing one that can be removed.

Planning Permission and/or Building Regulations approval may be necessary for some of the above.

Personal contact list

Make a list of all your personal contact numbers, including friends and family. Keep a copy in a place you can find quickly and give a copy to each member of your family.  It may also be useful to store personal contact numbers on your mobile telephone but remember that mobile phone networks are likely to be very busy during an emergency.

Emergency kit bag

In an emergency you may be evacuated from your home quickly and it is important to have essentials to hand, so they can be collected quickly on your way out if it is safe to do so. Below are some suggestions of items you could keep in your kit bag:

Key documents - such as passport, driving licence, insurance details
Personal contact list
First aid kit
Details of prescription medication/equipment - make sure these are kept up to date
Mobile phone and charger
Spare glasses or contact lenses
Whistle - for attracting attention
Toiletries - including nappies and sanitary supplies
Any special items for babies, children, elderly or disabled people
Spare set of keys
Bottled water and energy bars
Coins / cash
A torch and batteries, or a wind-up torch
Change of clothes
Notebook and pencil