What to do in an emergency

This will vary depending on the emergency. Some general advice though:

  • In an emergency dial 999 to report it. Ask for the most appropriate emergency service, they will alert the others if required
  • If the building is on fire – get out and stay out
  • If not, go indoors, stay there and check for updates on local radio, TV, police and fire websites or emergency services and local authority social media sites (see useful links)
  • Close all doors and windows if there is a gas cloud or smoke plume involved
  • Follow the advice of the emergency services
  • 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 temporary accommodation/shelter and arrange transport if necessary
  • Stay calm and think before you act
  • Try and reassure others and help emergency services by informing them of anyone you know who is vulnerable and may need help
  • Check in with friends and family by using social media apps such as Facebook Safety Check or the British Red Cross Emergencies app.

Go in, stay in and get connected

  • In most major incidents you will be advised to find shelter. Go in and stay there until the emergency services say it is safe to move.
  • For immediate access to updates from the emergency services, follow the police and fire service Twitter and Facebook pages or look at their websites. The useful links page has further details. Listen to local radio stations for more information too.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.  Stay indoors until you know more about the situation and the appropriate action you need to take to protect yourself further. The action you should take will be different depending on the incident; you could put yourself at more risk by not waiting for further instructions.
  • If safe to do so, check on vulnerable neighbours.
  • Make sure pets are secure and safe.
  • Only make necessary phone calls (remember a cordless phone will not work during a power cut), as phone networks can get overloaded during emergencies.