Preparing for emergencies
What you can do to make sure you, your family and your business are prepared for an emergency.
- What risks should you plan for?
- Prepare yourself for emergencies
- Prepare your business for emergencies
- Prepare your community for emergencies
- Preparing for emergencies when abroad
This guidance helps people, businesses and communities to identify and prepare for the hazards and threats that may disrupt their lives.
What is an emergency?
An emergency is an event or situation which threatens serious damage to:
- human welfare
- the environment
It can also be caused by war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom.
Emergencies are normally unpredictable and can be caused for example by:
- severe weather
- industrial accidents
- power failure
- transport incident or accident
- cyber attack
They can happen suddenly for instance an aircraft crash or can be more gradual like flooding following heavy rain - both equally traumatic and upsetting for those involved.
What risks should you plan for?
Various hazards and threats such as extreme weather and cybercrime could have a big impact on you and your property. They could also affect the services you rely on - such as transport, utilities, communications and financial services.
- read what you can do to be 'Weather Ready' on the Met Office website
- check your local weather forecast and keep up to date with weather warnings on the Met Office website
- check your risk of flooding and sign up for alerts from the Environment Agency
- read the Community Risk Register and planning assumptions for your local area, published by the Essex Resilience Forum
Uttlesford Emergency Plan
We have an Uttlesford District Emergency Response Plan. This will guide our actions in the event of an emergency.
Prepare yourself for emergencies
These resources help people to quickly prepare for the hazards and threats that may affect them.
Quick and easy preparation:
- make sure you have suitable insurance, the Association of British Insurers website has useful information on home insurance and flooding insurance
- think about where you would go and stay - and how you would get there - if an emergency meant that you couldn't stay at home
- make an emergency plan or a flood plan and discuss it with your family and friends so they know what to do. GOV.UK has an example template
- read the 'Are you prepared' information from the Essex Resilience Forum
- put together a 'grab bag' of things to take in an emergency
More advanced preparation for flooding:
- read advice on planning ahead, and also managing and recovering from a flood on GOV.UK
- prepare your home to be resilient to flooding
Prepare your business for emergencies
These resources enable businesses to identify and prepare for the hazards and threats that may disrupt their operations.
Being more prepared and resilient can give a competitive advantage to your business. The actions you take to make your business resilient will depend on your circumstances and the risks you are comfortable taking. Having assessed these, only you can decide how much time, and possibly money, you want to invest in increasing your resilience. The suggested actions below will get you started, ranging from a free 'print off and fill-in' plan to more specialist training.
Quick and easy preparation:
- make sure you have suitable insurance, the Association of British Insurers provides helpful information. Commercial property insurance is particularly relevant
- complete the 10 Minute Plan on the Business Emergency Resilience Group website
- think through potential disruptions to your company and what you can do about them in greater detail using the Dummies Guide to Business Continuity
- put together a 'battle box' containing important documents and items to keep your business running, in case you have to relocate with little or no notice
- consider your preparation for cyber threats
More advanced preparation:
- complete a free Business Resilience Health Check to help you understand how to make your company more resilient in about 1 and a half hours
- talk to neighbours, businesses and customers about your plans and how you could support each other
- test your plan and adjust it where necessary to avoid complications in an emergency
- make sure all your staff have copies of your plan and that they know their responsibilities in an emergency
- read the guidance for preparing your businesses for flooding and for preparing your premises
Uttlesford business continuity toolkit
We have put together a business continuity toolkit that will help you to identify those parts of your organisation that you can't afford to lose - such as information, stock, premises, staff. - and to plan how to maintain these, if an incident occurs.
Prepare your community for emergencies
These resources enable communities to prepare for the hazards and threats that may disrupt their neighbourhoods.
The Preparing for emergencies: guide for communities provides a framework for thinking about why and how you can help your community to be prepared, including:
- why you should be involved and be prepared
- what you can do to make it happen in your community
- what help is available from government to support community preparedness
Local Resilience Forums organise and coordinate the emergency response in your area. You can contact the Essex Resilience Forum to find out, or suggest, how you can prepare your community for emergencies.
There are loads of great 'how-to guides', case studies and toolkits for community flood planning on the National Flood Forum's website.
Preparing for emergencies when abroad
These resources help people to quickly prepare for threats and emergencies that may occur when you are travelling abroad.
Quick and easy preparation:
- make sure that you have read the advice about travelling abroad on GOV.UK. This includes the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
- think about what you'll do if the worst happens. GOV.UK issues guidance on what to do if you're affected by a crisis overseas
- read the information from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office on what steps you can take to avoid financial difficulties overseas
Telephone: 01799 510510
More information on how to contact us and what to do if you need to speak to someone out of our normal open hours.
In the event of an immediate emergency call 999