Make your household emergency plan

Prepare yourself for major emergencies

Be prepared for a fire, flood or any other emergency

We’ll always be ready to respond to any emergency. But how prepared would you be in the event of a fire, flooding or any other major emergency? 

Making a plan will take a matter of minutes - but could be a lifesaver during a major emergency in your home or community, providing vital information such as: 

  • important contact numbers
  • radio stations and social media details to stay informed
  • emergency grab bag checklist
  • steps to follow in an emergency  

Make your household emergency action plan

Download and complete one of the plans below to make sure you’re armed with all the information and knowledge you’ll need when you most need it: 

Flooding incidents

We will attend flooding incidents where there is a life risk or where our actions will make a significant difference to the outcome. 

What you can do

  • please only call the emergency services if there is an immediate threat to life, or serious property or environmental damage
  • motorists should not drive through flooded roads or fords. More information can be found on our road safety page
  • avoid walking through flooded areas, shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces and submerged debris
  • keep out of flood water where possible, as it can become contaminated with sewerage and chemicals
  • property owners – domestic or commercial - are responsible for taking appropriate action to protect their property from flooding
  • if you know you are at risk of flooding, you are advised to keep a supply of sandbags at your property. Sandbags may be distributed on request by your district council (subject to availability) if your property is suffering flooding
  • householders that suffer domestic flooding should contact their insurance companies

Health advice

  • regard all floodwater as potentially contaminated
  • wash hands after any contact with floodwater
  • if you are unwell, tell your GP you have been in a flooded area  

Carbon monoxide awareness 

Petrol or diesel generators and pumps emit carbon monoxide (CO) within the exhaust gases. This is colourless and odourless, but can be deadly. 

Do not use any fuel-driven equipment (petrol or diesel generators and pumps) indoors. If in extreme circumstances this is not possible, ensure the following:

  • working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are placed in living spaces or wherever people are located in the house
  • your CO detector is positioned at head height when working (sat down or standing) and at a lower level when sleeping
  • the room containing the pump or generator is well ventilated before you spend any time in that area  

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms

A headache is the most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other common symptoms include:

  • dizziness and feeling sick 
  • being sick
  • tiredness and confusion  

Symptoms are similar to the flu, food poisoning, viral infections and tiredness. It can be easy to mistake the symptoms for something less serious.

If you are experiencing symptoms or your CO alarm sounds

  • get fresh air immediately
  • switch off the pump or generator, open doors and windows and leave the house
  • seek medical advice immediately   

Unstable structures

  • we may attend if a property is dangerously unsafe to prevent an incident from getting worse
  • you may be advised to contact your local authority or your insurance company to rectify the situation. Your insurance company will have a 24-hour telephone advice line and a list of approved contractors 

Fallen trees 

  • if you discover a fallen tree or branches, please contact your local council to arrange removal
  • trees on private land should be dealt with by a professionally qualified tree surgeon
  • do not be tempted to use a chainsaw to fell or cut up tree damage unless you are qualified to do so and have the appropriate protective clothing 

Utilities

  • if you lose electric, gas or have a leaking water pipe in the home then please contact your utility provider for 24-hour emergency advice. 
  • if you discover a fallen power cable, keep well away from it and contact Scottish & Southern Energy on 0800 072 7282 - if there is a risk to life, then call 999
  • following a flood in your home, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on

After a flood

Actions to take after a flood.