Emergency planning

How to prepare for an emergency

There are ways you can prepare for an emergency, you can find out more on gov.uk 

Some key emergency contact numbers are listed below for your reference:

  • London Borough of Sutton switchboard - 0208 770 5000
  • Emergency services (Police/Fire Brigade/Ambulance) - 999
  • Environment Agency floodline - 0345 988 1188 / Type talk (for the hard of hearing): 0345 602 6340
  • SES Water 24 hour Emergency line - 01737 772000
  • Thames Water Leakline - 0800 714 614
  • Thames Water Sewage/Sewer Flooding - 0800 316 9800
  • UK Power Networks (Power cut) - 105
  • National Grid (Gas emergency) - 0800 111 999
  • Transport for London (24 hour helpline) - 0343 222 1234
  • NHS Sutton Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) - 020 3668 1200
  • Anti-terrorist hotline - 0800 789 321 (if you suspect an immediate danger, call 999).

How to stay safe during an emergency

During an emergency, it is important to stay calm and seek information from the emergency services and Council. 

Unless you have been told not to by the emergency services, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • if the danger is outside: Get in, stay in and tune in.
  • if the danger is inside: Get out and stay out.
  • if people are in danger or have been injured, phone 999 and inform the emergency services.
  • ensure you follow the advice of the emergency services.
  • remain calm and support others around you.
  • stay informed: watch local television stations and listen to the radio.
  • ensure you and your household are safe first. Help your friends and neighbours, particularly those who are vulnerable.
  • tune into the radio (Radio Jackie on 107.8fm, BBC London on 94.9fm or LBC 97.3fm).  Regular updates will be given, including the all-clear once the emergency is over.

If you are asked to evacuate

If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, your common sense and instincts will usually tell you what to do. 

However, it is important to:

  • make sure someone has called 999 if people are injured or if there is a threat to life 
  • do not put yourself or others in danger 
  • follow the advice of the emergency services 
  • try to remain calm and think before acting, and try to reassure others 
  • check for injuries – remember to help yourself before helping others

In certain situations, you may be asked to leave your home by the emergency services. If this happens, leave as quickly and calmly as possible. 

If you have time:

  • turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, and unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows
  • take items from the list overleaf with you
  • if you leave by car, take bottled water and blankets, and tune into the local radio for emergency advice and instructions.

When you are told that it is safe to return home, open windows to provide fresh air before reconnecting gas, electricity and water supplies.

After an emergency

  • let your loved ones know you are safe.
  • stay safe and avoid entering a dangerous area until the emergency services tell you it is safe to do so.
  • it may not be possible to return to your home immediately and you may require temporary accommodation.
    • the best option is to see if you can stay with any friends or relatives.
    • sutton Council has responsibilities for people made temporarily homeless in an emergency and may open a rest centre or provide alternative accommodation.

Returning home after an emergency

Beware of new dangers which may be present in your home, created by the incident:

  • if you smell gas - open a window if you can and leave the property immediately. Call National Grid (0800 111 999) and remember not to smoke or use any naked flames until it has been verified by your gas company.
  • if there is debris - check the exterior of the property for cracks, and if any part of the building looks unstable leave immediately. Debris can be dangerous so wear protective clothing and footwear. Depending on who owns the property you live in, you will need to contact either your landlord, insurance company or housing association. 
  • if electrical appliances have been wet - turn off the electricity at the fuse box, allow appliances to dry out and have a qualified professional check them before turning them on.
  • if your water is discoloured, cloudy or smells - check with your water supply company before drinking, using water to make baby formula or brush your teeth as it may be contaminated.

If you see any hazards

Contact the local authority or emergency services if you see any hazards to health and safety, such as damaged power lines, washed-out roads, gas leaks, dead animals or chemical releases.

Call your insurance provider

Call your insurance provider and take pictures of any damage which has occurred and keep records of repairs and cleaning costs, as this may help your insurance claim.

Stay healthy

Recovery work can be exhausting so make sure you drink plenty of water, eat well and get enough rest. Also be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water especially if in contact with floodwater, which will likely have been contaminated.

Priority Services Register

Utility providers are required to deliver a Priority Services Register, where vulnerable residents can register to receive extra support. This can be particularly important in emergencies, for example if a power cut occurs, to ensure that you get the extra support and assistance that you may need.

You can register to be on the Priority Services Register:

  • you rely on medical equipment
  • you have refrigerated medicines
  • you have a serious or chronic illness
  • you have a disability
  • you or someone you care for is living with dementia
  • you are of a pensionable age
  • you have children under five in your household
  • you need extra support for a short time period (e.g. if you are recovering from medical treatment)

You can find further information on the Priority Services Register can also be found on the Citizens Advice website.