Community and Business Resilience

Home preparedness

Prepare in advance

Many of us will experience minor emergencies throughout our lives – power cuts, burst water pipes, getting caught up in gridlock. However, some of us may not be so fortunate and may be involved in a major emergency. Thankfully, these are situations that you can plan and prepare for in advance.

By following the steps below you can become better prepared to deal with the consequences of a major incident:

  • Find out what emergencies could happen in the District – through the Braintree Community Risk Register
  • Ask your Parish Council what risks they have identified in their Community Emergency Plan
  • Prepare a ‘grab bag’ – Essex Civil Protection & Emergency Management has produced a suggested list of essentials you can pack in advance (this could be a satchel bag or small suitcase with wheels)
  • Think about how you would look after your pets. If you were evacuated, have you got a carrier or cage?
  • Agree a rendezvous point with your family – does everyone know where to meet if something were to go wrong? Do you know a place where it could be easy to meet up?

What to do during an emergency

In absence of the emergency services providing instruction the best course of action is to:

  • Go in – Find a place of safety (home or a relative’s/friend’s house) and close doors and windows. Responders may open ‘emergency accommodation’ to provide a place of safety for those affected by an incident who have no alternative place to go
  • Stay in – Stay inside until the danger has passed. This time can be used to contact friends and family to make sure they are safe and confirm that you are safe
  • Tune in – turn on the TV, look online at news sources and tune into local radio stations. All of these sources are used by responders to issue updates and advice to the public on a situation.

What to do after an emergency

The stress that can come from a major event can be a long and tiring process, both for individuals and the community. The below information could be useful for helping you, your family and the community recover from an incident:

  • Keep an eye out for any updates during the ‘recovery’ process. Although the incident itself is over, responders have a duty to facilitate recovery within the community (lead by the Council) and information may be disseminated to reach those affected by an incident
  • If you have not done so already, let your loved ones know you are safe
  • Follow the instructions of the emergency services, they are there to help you.
  • You may not be able to return to your home immediately if it is located within an incident zone and you may require temporary accommodation. Enquire with your home insurance provider or family and friends to find out where you could stay
  • If you have no home insurance or alternative sources of accommodation, get in touch with the Council to receive specific advice
  • Take pictures of your home if there has been any damage and keep records of initial repairs and cleaning costs you incur, this will help with your insurance claim in the long run