Five tips to plan for emergencies

Our advice for coping with a crisis

During emergencies, always listen carefully to the advice of the emergency services and follow their instructions.

There are also things you can do to prepare for emergencies before they happen.

Download our free Emergency app. It has lots of advice on being prepared for emergencies. 

Here are five more steps you can take to be ready in times of crisis:

1. Learn first aid

First aid skills can save lives in emergencies. We offer first aid courses across the UK, and you can also learn first aid online.

Download our free First Aid and Baby and Child First Aid apps. They’re valuable sources of advice in first aid emergencies.

2. Make a list of important numbers

Make a list of numbers you’ll need in a crisis. This includes local emergency services and loved ones.

Print or write these numbers on a piece of paper. This is in case you can’t use your mobile phone to check numbers.

Also write down your plan of action, including reminders of what to take if you need to leave your home quickly.

3. Make a plan for loved ones, vulnerable people and pets

In emergencies it can be hard to find family and friends who live nearby. Agree a meeting place in advance that will be clear of any potential hazards.

Also think about older and vulnerable people who live near you. In an emergency, they may need your help to reach safety.

You should also pre-plan how to protect your pets and animals, so you know exactly what to do in a crisis.

4. Know how to turn off utilities

In emergencies you may need to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies to your home or business.

Learn how to do this in advance. This will allow you to leave the property quickly.

5. Choose a contact outside your local area

Speak with your family. Choose someone outside your local area who’ll be a contact during emergencies.

Your family should all call the same person to let them know you’re safe. They can pass on messages if you’re unable to reach loved ones directly.

More free help and advice

Get advice for helping children and young people cope with emergencies in our teaching resources section.

  • See our free online teaching resources to enable children and young people to learn first aid. There is a teaching resource for 5-11 year olds and 11 years and older.
  • The Pillowcase Project is an education programme to help children aged 7 to 11 understand, cope with and respond to weather-related emergencies.
  • Check out our free online resources to help teachers talk to children aged 5-11 and 11-19 about major emergencies.
  • Our crisis resource for teachers shows how teachers can help young people in distress.