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Prepare your home

What you can do to make your home ready in case of an emergency.

Example of a home emergency kit containing first aid kit, torch and other supplies.

Essential emergency supplies

It is useful to be prepared for a range of scenarios that include staying at home, or evacuation from your home.

At home

You should aim to keep a range of supplies that can meet essential household needs for at least three days.

These could include:

  • Radio (and spare batteries) or wind up radio
  • Torch (and spare batteries)
  • Candles and matches
  • First aid kit
  • Details of local radio station frequencies
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance policies and your Household Emergency Plan
  • Bottled water and long life, ready-to-eat food with a tin opener (and pet food)
  • Spare keys to your house and vehicle
  • Spare glasses or contact lenses
  • Toiletries and prescription medicine (including for pets)
  • Pen and paper, penknife and whistle
  • Wellington boots and waterproof clothing

Additional checks to protect your home

  • Make sure you have adequate household insurance, and that you store important documents safely
  • Familiarise yourself with the location of all your utility stop cocks, in the event that you are required to disconnect your water, electricity or gas supply
  • If you or a member of your family has a specific health/medical problem that requires a permanent utility supply of water, gas or electricity, contact your supplier to register these details

If you have to evacuate your home

You should prepare a 'grab bag' with the listed items ready in the event you need to evacuate.

This may be required at short notice, so the bag should be kept in an easily accessible place. If necessary, and there is time to do so, you should quickly pack the following:

  • Any medication that may be required
  • Glasses or contact lenses
  • First aid kit
  • Essential keys including house and car
  • Cash, credit and debit cards
  • Passport and any other important documents
  • A change of clothing, footwear and sleeping attire
  • Washing, shaving and sanitary supplies
  • Any special items for babies, children, elderly and disabled people
  • A torch, very small radio, and batteries
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Supply of appropriate food/water, and bottle/can openers

The CCS has produced a leaflet on preparing a grab bag in the event you are required to evacuate, in addition to some general guidance on preparing for emergencies.

You can download a copy here:

Creating your own emergency plans

Creating a plan for your household is not a difficult task, and can help you and your family to be prepared for an emergency.

Your plan should include any or all of the following details:

  • An emergency contact, who has agreed beforehand to contact you in the event of an emergency to ensure you are okay, for example if you are evacuated from your home
  • Important contact numbers / other information - this includes schools / college, carers, child minders, vets, places of work, doctors, utility suppliers and any other important contact details
  • Details of meeting places, in the event you and your family need to meet at a safe and suitable place - you should identify a place close to your home, and another that is further away, and ensure that everyone knows these locations
  • Contact details for your friends/vulnerable people that live nearby, who you can check on if it is safe to do so
  • Make sure that you include arrangements for emergencies that occur while you are on holiday

If you live or work near to establishments such as chemical plants, or flood-prone areas, specific plans may have been created to deal with emergencies that may result.

You should check locally and consider what effect these plans might have on your own arrangements, and be aware of important warnings that might be given.

You can download a template household emergency plan here:

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