Emergency plans and advice

While we all hope that we don’t have to experience a serious emergency, it’s important to be prepared and know how to react if there is one.

A major emergency could happen at any time and may take you by surprise, but you can be prepared by putting together an emergency plan for your family.

For more information on how to prepare for emergencies, please have a look at the London Prepared website.

What is a major emergency?

Major emergencies include:

  • Incidents that affect public safety (terrorism, major crime)
  • Serious transport incidents (tanker crash, train crash, plane crash)
  • Extreme weather (flooding, storms)
  • Infectious disease outbreak.

Find out more about the how risks are assessed and what current risks to London are on the London Prepared website.

Make a plan for a major emergency

  • Make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do.
  • Pick two meeting points, one near your home, and one away from your area at which you can agree to meet should you lose contact with each other.
  • Choose a friend or relative who lives outside London who you can each phone to let them know that you are okay; make sure that everyone in the family always has that number with them.
  • Keep a 'grab-bag' handy.

Ideas for a grab bag

A grab-bag contains some of the things that will help you to survive in or outside your home if you should need to leave because of an emergency.

You may want to take all or some of these items:

  • Home and car keys
  • Mobile phone with charger
  • Money and bank cards
  • Essential medicines or mobility aids
  • Important documents, including insurance, passport, birth/marriage certificates and so on
  • First aid kit
  • Identification
  • Emergency phone numbers, including schools, work, family
  • Basic toiletries
  • Torch with batteries or wind up torch
  • Radio with batteries or wind up radio
  • Bottled water and "easy" food (tinned food and biscuits for example)
  • Items for children - formula/nappies/small toys and so on.

During an emergency

If you are involved in a major emergency, you can help yourself to stay safe by following instructions that the emergency services give you.

Useful phone numbers for a major emergency

You might find it helpful to keep the following telephone numbers with your grab-bag to use in the case of an emergency:

  • Environment Agency Floodline – 0845 988 1188
  • NHS Direct – 0845 4647
  • Newham Council – 020 8430 2000
  • National Gas Emergency Service – 0800 111 999
  • UK Power Networks (power cut) – 0800 028 0247
  • Thames Water (loss of water supply) – 0845 9200 800