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Prepare For An Emergency

Prepare to respond to incidents that may take place either at home or when you are elsewhere

Last Updated 08 July 2024

Introduction

Spending time planning your response to an incident is likely to reduce its impact. Planning must take place now - if you wait for an incident to occur to decide what to do, it will be too late. Your plan should be carefully considered, properly prepared and rehearsed. The plan you develop can be adapted to different locations when you are away from home.

This section focuses on the planning that needs to take place now. Detailed additional guidance is provided under the section Know What To Do which will help you determine the most appropriate action to take in response to different types of incident.

Consider the following four sections and implement the parts that are relevant to you and your home.

These measures are NOT listed in the order in which they should be implemented if an incident does occur. Each incident will determine the order in which they are completed.  

Raise the alarm

How to raise the alarm

Careful consideration should be given as to how you should raise the alarm in the event of an incident that requires a rapid and appropriately resourced response. The police and people near to you must be informed that an incident is taking place as soon as possible.

Alerting the police

In an emergency, the police in the UK can be notified by dialling 999, otherwise when a non-urgent response is required, dial 101.

Mobile phones should be kept charged and on or close to you and your emergency contacts should be added to your contacts list. Consideration should be given as to how the emergency call settings on your phone can be set to support a call either to the police or to alert others that an incident is taking place. If necessary, a call can be made discreetly. For more details, watch the below video or  search “Emergency SOS” and follow instructions relating to the make and model of your phone.

View Video Transcript

[person open zip bag]

Yep, ok.

Morning.

Hello Michael.

[VO]: Everyone is subject to some risks to their personal safety and security.

[woman reporting into a camera]

[VO]: Your work and personal profile could make you a high-risk individual.

Take a seat. How can I help you?
[man bangs table with his hands]

I’ve got a problem, I’ve been evicted. I’ve been trying to tell you lot for weeks.

[VO]: Being aware of what happening around you,

[You stole those items]

[VO]: planning ahead and knowing what to do in an incident will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

[VO]: We carry around devices every day that can help in in an emergency.

And I did that
[man bangs the table again with his hands]

[VO]: Most smart phones, smart watches with a mobile connection or wi-fi and vehicles can quickly notify the emergency services and share your location.

[VO]: Familiarising yourself with these features could save valuable time in the event of an emergency.

Check how your device is activated.

[man bangs the table again with his hands]
I’ve had enough.

[VO]: Most models are activated by five rapid presses

[begins to shout]
I’m not angry.

[VO]: Activation will start a countdown so you can cancel the call if needed.

[man bangs the table, uses expletives].

[VO]: You can send an alert silently or with an alarm

[alarm beeping sound]
[VO]: Which can itself act as a deterrent.

[VO]: Some in- car eCall systems first call the manufacturer’s response team before putting you in touch with the emergency services.

Emergency services, how can I help?

[VO]: I addition to the emergency services

Okay, I can see your position

[VO]: you can specify emergency contacts to receive a message, letting them know that you need help.

[VO]: This can also warn them of any possible security risk.

I can see your position.

Try and make your way to somewhere busy.

The police are on their way.

Are they still following you?

Yes they are.

Keep driving. Don’t go home. The police are on their way.

[VO]: in an emergency every second count.

[man is shouting]
You don’t understand.

Is everything ok?

Excuse me! 
I think there is a man following me. Is it okay if I wait here?

Just wait there until the police arrive.

[VO]: planning ahead and learning how your device and vehicle activate an emergency call could save valuable time.

[phone vibrates on desk]
Hello? Yes it’s okay, they’ve just left.

[police sirens]

[VO]: Helping to keep you and your loved ones safe.

The police are here now.

Good stay on the line and I’ll give you the all clear.

[person open zip bag] 

 

Yep, ok.

 

Morning. Hello Michael.

 

[VO]: Everyone is subject to some risks to their personal safety and security.

 

[woman reporting into a camera]

 

[VO]: Your work and personal profile could make you a high-risk individual. 

 

Take a seat. How can I help you?

 

[man bangs table with his hands]

 

I’ve got a problem, I’ve been evicted. I’ve been trying to tell you lot for weeks. 

 

[VO]: Being aware of what happening around you, 

 

[You stole those items]

 

[VO]: planning ahead and knowing what to do in an incident will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

 

[VO]: We carry around devices every day that can help in in an emergency. 

 

And I did that 

 

[man bangs the table again with his hands] 

 

[VO]: Most smart phones, smart watches with a mobile connection or wi-fi and vehicles can quickly notify the emergency services and share your location. 

 

[VO]: Familiarising yourself with these features could save valuable time in the event of an emergency.

 

Check how your device is activated.

 

[man bangs the table again with his hands] 

 

I’ve had enough.

 

[VO]: Most models are activated by five rapid presses

 

[begins to shout]

 

I’m not angry.

 

[VO]: Activation will start a countdown so you can cancel the call if needed. 

 

[man bangs the table, uses expletives].

 

[VO]: You can send an alert silently or with an alarm

 

[alarm beeping sound]

 

[VO]: Which can itself act as a deterrent.

 

[VO]: Some in- car eCall systems first call the manufacturer’s response team before putting you in touch with the emergency services. 

 

Emergency services, how can I help?

 

[VO]: I addition to the emergency services

 

Okay, I can see your position

 

[VO]: you can specify emergency contacts to receive a message, letting them know that you need help.

 

[VO]: This can also warn them of any possible security risk.

 

I can see your position.

 

Try and make your way to somewhere busy. 

 

The police are on their way. 

 

Are they still following you?

 

Yes they are.

 

Keep driving. Don’t go home. The police are on their way. 

 

[VO]: in an emergency every second count.

 

[man is shouting]

 

You don’t understand.

 

Is everything ok?

 

Excuse me! 

I think there is a man following me. Is it okay if I wait here?

 

Just wait there until the police arrive.

 

[VO]: planning ahead and learning how your device and vehicle activate an emergency call could save valuable time. 

 

[phone vibrates on desk]

 

Hello? Yes it’s okay, they’ve just left.

 

[police sirens]

 

[VO]: Helping to keep you and your loved ones safe.

 

The police are here now.

 

Good stay on the line and I’ll give you the all clear.

subtitled version

Alerting others in your home

Those with you can be alerted by telling them in person or sounding an alarm. How you do this will depend on the circumstance. The alarm needs to be distinct to a fire alarm so that people don’t inadvertently evacuate towards danger.

Alarms

Some high-risk individuals may be provided with an alarm by the police which will provide an alert direct to the local police force control room. Sounding this type of alarm will trigger a pre-prepared response from the police. If possible, additional information should be provided to the police as soon as possible by phone call. This will provide important additional information about the incident.

Alternatively, an alarm may be routed through an alarm monitoring centre.  Once validated, they will contact the police on your behalf.

An audible alarm may also be in place that is not connected to either the police or the monitoring centre. It will act to deter the attacker(s) and alert others on the premises or in the immediate vicinity that an incident is taking place.

Mobile phones

Careful consideration should be given to at least the two following location settings on your phone: 

  • Emergency Location Service (ELS) 
  •  GPS/other location services.  

The ELS feature, when switched to on, may automatically send the location of your device and other critical information to the Emergency Services when you call or text 999/112, irrespective of whether GPS or other location services were switched off at the time.  This setting is recommended as it will assist emergency responders.     

Careful consideration should be given to using general location services (not the ELS function), including GPS, as it may enable others with the capability to track your mobile phone’s location.

Emergency contact details should also be saved within the contacts in your mobile so that, when necessary, they can be called.

Get away from danger

An immediate priority will be for you to decide how you can most effectively get away from the danger caused by the incident. This can be done by implementing one of the following:

Consider the different circumstances that could take place and when you think it will be appropriate to either evacuate or lockdown.

Evacuation

Identify your escape routes. Which routes can you use to escape? Have a prepared plan as to a safe place that you can go to once you are out. This should be away from your immediate neighbourhood.

Have you got time to get into your car and drive away? Know where the car keys are so they can be quickly grabbed to allow you to escape.

Lockdown

There are two parts to locking down:

  1. Rapidly locking your doors and windows. Make sure you have locks that can be easily closed. Use thumbturn locks or make sure keys are easily reached.
  2. Go to a safer place in your home to hide. This may be a room, cupboard or other place that you can hide in until the police arrive. Identify what additional measures you can put in place to make the room more secure and will delay any attempt to force entry into it. Additional guidance is available as to the measures you can take to protect your safer area from the NPSA.

Emergency equipment/grab bag

Have an emergency grab bag available that can either be taken with you if you need to run or take with you into your safer area. Consider what you need in it. It could include:

  • First aid kit that includes a Stop The Bleed Kit
  • Mobile charger 
  • Torch 
  • Water 
  • Cash or credit card 
  • Emergency contact details of friends and family.

Also consider where and what fire extinguishers you have in your home and how you would use them. For more information go to NFCC.

For more information follow the below links:

Practice and rehearse

Once you have developed your plan it is important that you practice what is required. This is particularly important if you have elderly people or young children in your home. They will need to be familiarised with what to do. This will improve the chances of them doing what they need to do if an incident does take place.

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