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What to do in a major emergency

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If you are affected by an incident remember this important advice:

  • If you are a witness, dial 999 and alert the police, fire or ambulance services.
  • If you are in a building that is on fire - get out and stay out. 
  • If you are stranded in your home, tune in to your local radio station and television for advice - listen out for emergency telephone numbers.
  • Pass on any warnings to neighbours and check on the elderly and disabled, if it is safe to do so.
  • Limit your telephone calls - this helps prevent clogging the lines with unnecessary calls and allows the emergency services and others to use the lines if necessary.

In most emergencies you will be advised to shelter where you are.

Go in
Go indoors, close doors and windows and shut down ventilation systems if it is safe to do so. Unless there is an obvious risk to the property this will give you good short-term protection against most hazards.

Stay in
Stay indoors until you know more about the situation and the appropriate action you need to take to protect yourself further. The action you should take will be different depending on the incident; you could put yourself at more risk by not waiting for further instructions.

Tune in
Tune in to local radio and television to find out more about what is happening. BBC Radio Suffolk (95.5, 95.9, 103.9 & 104.6 FM) and many other local radio stations will broadcast messages advising people of the current situation and what actions they should take.

What to expect if you are alerted by the police

If you are alerted to an incident by the police it is likely that you will be asked to stay indoors and close outside doors and windows.

If the police do ask you to leave your home:

  • Please follow the instructions the police issue. Their prime responsibility is your safety and they will know more than you do about the level of danger.
  • Switch off gas and electrical appliances, and put out coal burning fires.
  • If there is time, take warm clothing, special food for babies and any medicines you may need.

It is likely that the police will ask you to go to a rest centre. If you decide to go anywhere else it is important to let them know so that you can be accounted for.

Emergency items

You may find it useful to keep the following items in an 'emergency box' in your home:

  • Torch and batteries - remember to check the batteries every now and then;
  • Candles and matches in a safe container;
  • Portable radio and batteries;
  • Something to drink - cans of drink, bottled water, etc;
  • Notebook, pens and pencils;
  • Something to occupy any children.

Make sure medicines, toiletries, spare contact lenses, etc. are easily available to put in the box when necessary.

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Contact Details

Emergency Planning,
Ipswich Borough Council,
2E Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,
Ipswich,
IP1 2DE

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01473 433431