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Emergency Planning: Preparing yourself

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Household emergency plan

One of the simplest but most effective things you can do is to create a Household Emergency Plan for yourself and those close to you.

For a template plan see the documents section at the bottom of this page.

A Household Emergency Plan can:

  • Help you prepare for emergencies
  • Help you to stay calm if an emergency were to take place and
  • Minimise the impacts of an emergency should you be affected.

A Household Emergency Plan should aim to include information that will:

  • Ensure members of your household are able to stay in touch by identifying friends or relatives that could be used as a central contact
  • Help anyone near you who may need help especially if they are elderly or vulnerable.
  • Give practical advice on what to do if you are advised to remain in your house or advised to evacuate, including preparing an Emergency Ready Bag
  • Where and how to turn off electricity, water and gas supplies at your home.
  • Details of television or radio news stations, to keep you updated.

What to do in an emergency

  • If an emergency occurs your first action should always be to contact the emergency services by dialling 999.
  • Follow instructions given by the emergency services or local authority supported by information included in your plan.
  • In a major emergency the safest place for anyone not directly involved in the incident is usually in their own home or if not near home, in a building. People who believe they may possibly be affected by the incident should follow the standard advice "Go in, Stay in, Tune in", which means go inside a safe building, stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to a local radio or TV for information.
  • Of course, there are always going to be particular occasions when you should not "go in", for example if there is a fire, or you are advised differently by the emergency services or your own common sense.

What are the risks we face?

It should be remembered that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are safe places to live, but emergencies do sometimes happen and they could have a significant impact on you, your household and your community.

In order to be more prepared, you need to be aware of the risks that we consider. Some of the more common risks are listed below, but you can look in more detail in the National Risk Register and in the Local Community Risk Register for information about the types of risks that we all face and how these might affect us.


Around 33,000 properties are at risk of flooding in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The Environment Agency aims to provide advance warning of flooding and the local authorities may provide assistance.

The Environment Agency has a free warning system called Floodline Warnings Direct (FWD).

Once you are registered, if a flood warning is issued an automatic message will be sent to you via telephone, SMS text message, email and/or fax (depending on which details you provide).

Where possible, warnings are issued to hours prior to flooding to give those that are registered time to act to protect themselves and their property.

  • To register for FREE flood warnings, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit their website
  • Download a copy of the Environment Agency's handbook on flooding see the documents attached at the bottom of this page.

Cold weather

Severe cold weather can affect schools, travel and services in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.


For the latest on which schools have been affected by the adverse weather, local media will have an up to date list. You can access this via their websites, or listen for updates on the radio.

As well as updates on schools affected, the City and County Council websites will be able to provide details on any other services, such as refuse collection, that may have been affected.

If you know you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, we would urge you to check on them to ensure that they are ok during this spell of bad weather. Cold weather is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses, so check up on them if you can. People with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems may have worse symptoms during a cold spell and for several days after temperatures return to normal.

For advice on reducing dangers created by cold weather visit the National Health Service website.

For up to date weather information visit the Met Office website.

Be Winter ready

Know your free emergency numbers - in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.

Prepare your home – keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit www.energynetworks.org to find out who your network operator is.

Keep your eyes open – keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.

Hot weather

The very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are the groups who are particularly at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

The main risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • Dehydration (not having enough water)
  • Overheating. Can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heatstroke can make people very ill and can sometimes be fatal

For advice on groups at risk, reducing health dangers created by hot weather and advice for staying cool visit the National Health Service website


In snowy or icy weather you are advised to travel by car only if your journey is necessary. Before you leave, it is a good idea to consider the following:

  • Warm clothes, including a hat and gloves.
  • Suitable footwear.
  • A flask containing a hot drink.
  • A spade or shovel.
  • A torch.
  • Ensuring your mobile phone is fully charged.
  • Informing someone you know of your journey, your route and when you are expected to arrive.

Winter driving advice:

  • Take care around gritters
  • Don't be tempted to overtake
  • Slow down - it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room.
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.
  • Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking.
  • If braking is necessary, pump the brakes don't slam them on.
  • If you get stuck, stay with your car and tie something brightly coloured to your aerial.

Key documents

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls are free, no matter how long the call lasts.

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999 is the number to call when you want to contact us in an emergency and an immediate police response is necessary.

999 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Advice on how communities and individuals can prepare for winter weather.