Large scale emergency incidents will occur from time to time and they can have a huge effect on people's lives. However, by planning ahead it is possible to reduce the chances of one happening, and also lessen the impact it may have.

Whilst all incidents or emergencies are different in terms of the dangers to members of the public and the response required (e.g. stay indoors or evacuate) there are a range of simple and inexpensive measures that can be adopted to minimise possible disruption.

Simple steps you can take:

  • Keep a battery-powered torch in an easily accessible place in case of a disruption to the power supply.
  • Have a battery powered or wind up radio available so that you can tune into the local radio station for information or advice.
  • Maintain a small supply of ready to eat food that does not require preparation or cooking.
  • Have some warm clothing or blankets available in case of a disruption to the power supply.
  • Ensure that your landline telephone works properly in the event of a power cut and is not reliant on electricity. Do not rely solely on a mobile phone as networks may become overloaded and the mobile phone may need recharging.
  • Remember to maintain a supply of spare batteries.
  • Keep all medication and prescriptions in an easily accessible place in case you are asked to evacuate. Remember to take them with you.
  • Identify any special needs or requirements that anyone in your house or premises may have. For example, the elderly, young children, those on medication or those with disabilities.
  • Keep a list of useful telephone numbers to hand (e.g. GPs, the local authority, utility companies, your home insurer etc.).
  • Try and familiarise yourself with the procedures for switching off gas, electricity and water supplies to your house or premises.

'Go In, Stay In, Tune In'

In the case of most major emergencies, the simple advice to follow is go inside, stay inside, and tune into local radio.

With most incidents the safest place to be is indoors, and with correct preparation you should be able to stay there safely for some time (remember in the case of a fire in a building you are in - get out and stay out).


Hertfordshire Resilience and local radio stations work together to make sure that they can give out accurate and up to date information to keep people fully informed on what to do if there is a major incident.

Radio is easily accessible. You can listen to it in the car, and as long as you have a battery powered or wind-up radio you can listen in even if there is a power cut.