Responding to an Emergency

Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time and when they do occur they can be very scary experiences. It is important that you remain calm and don’t take unnecessary risks. If you have made a home emergency plan this is the time to use it.

Remember, if your life or someone else’s is in danger, always dial 999.

Shelter & Evacuation

If there is an emergency occurring nearby, the emergency services will normally provide residents with one of the three actions below:

  • Shelter
  • Evacuate
  • No restriction

Shelter is normally the preferred option. This involves residents being asked to stay in their homes, close all doors and windows, tune into local media sources and await further instructions, or the all clear from the emergency services.

The evacuation of residents is normally a last resort, however should the emergency pose a significant risk, then it may be the only viable option.
The decision to evacuate and manage the evacuation process is normally the responsibility of the Police. The Council will support the Police by providing Rest Centres subject to available resource and as appropriate, to accommodate evacuated residents and provide them with shelter, food, water and amenities. The Council has a number of designated Rest Centres within the Borough.

If evacuation instructions are issued by the emergency services, please respond to their instructions by doing the following:

  • Remain calm and leave as quickly as possible
  • Make sure to turn off gas, water and electricity supplies to your property
  • Gather family and pets together. Plan where to meet if separated 
  • Secure your property
  • Use the transport that may be provided (if going to a rest centre)
  • If you decide to stay with family, friends or make alternative arrangements, make sure you inform the police, otherwise you could be presumed missing.