accessibility & help

How to prepare for emergencies

No one can predict what’s around the corner, but when the unexpected happens – from a flood or fire to a terrorist incident – it pays to be prepared. The pages in this section provide information on the simple precautions you can take to prepare for a range of emergency situations, along with advice on how to cope if they happen.

A Red Cross worker standing behing a vehicle full of sandbags

Get ready for winter

Learn what to do before, during and after severe weather in winter.

A Red Cross ambulance in front of the number 10

Top ten tips for coping with emergencies

Find useful tips for coping with all sorts of emergencies – from floods to terrorism – as well as other websites that may help you.

Photo of a car breakdown

Car breakdown

If you've broken down, it can be dangerous to stop and it’s always inconvenient. Here are our tips on how to prevent car breakdowns and how to deal with them safely when they happen.

Warning sign

Chemical emergencies

Chemical emergencies are a fact of modern life. Whether from road accidents, in the workplace or from terrorist attack, we all need to know the basics of what to do.

Volunteer talks with a family after a domestic fire

Coping with a crisis

If you have endured a crisis, your experience is likely to have been a very personal one - but we can help you avoid potential pitfalls.

A dripping water tap

Drought and water-saving tips

If you live in the UK, you might not think you need to prepare for a drought or water shortage, but a little knowledge can go a long way.

People at a meeting

Emergencies in business

Learn what to do before, during and after an emergency in a business.

Children taking part in a lesson

Emergencies in schools

A school emergency is every teacher's and parent's nightmare. But there is a lot you can do to help make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

Volunteer discusses an incident with a fireman

Fire prevention and safety

Find out what to do if a fire breaks out and how to reduce the risk of fires.

First aid practice for young boy and girl - Shropshire

First aid for all

Almost three million people go to hospital each year in the UK with injuries that could have been helped by first aid.

Floods in UK view through a wing mirror

Prepare for floods and flooding

Many people in the UK live in flood-risk areas. Find out how to prepare for floods - and what to do when flooding strikes.


Be prepared for a heatwave

Advice on what to do if a heatwave strikes, and how you can be prepared for future heatwaves.

Pet and owner

Pet first aid

Prepare for the unexpected: what to do before, during and after an emergency involving a pet.

Poverty and financial hardship

Find out what help is available when you are having trouble paying bills, need a foodbank or advice on what benefits you can claim.

Woman blowing her nose

How to prepare for swine flu and other flu strains

Be prepared for swine flu with our helpful information, with details about swine flu symptoms and answers to freqently asked questions about swine flu.

Emergency response vehicle

How to prepare for terrorist attacks

Terrorist attacks happen without warning, but there are ways you can prepare for them. Read our tips to find out more.


Thunderstorms and blackouts

Severe storms can be frightening, particularly for elderly people, children and pets. Find out how to stay safe.

Sophie Orr, a British Red Cross delegate who worked as the ICRC's deputy head of sub-delegation in Sudan

Prepare for problems when travelling abroad

British people make more than 66 million trips abroad each year. Make your trip or holiday a safe and healthy one.