Preparing for Emergencies - What you need to know
Emergency Planning Booklet
General advice
Coping with specific emergencies
What to do if you're not
at home
Basic First Aid
Preparing for an
Helping to prevent a terrorist attack
What's being done to protect the UK?
Emergency contact details
Things to remember
Further Information

Coping with specific emergencies

The emergency services are trained to cope with a wide range of emergency situations, but if a terrorist attack happens, they'll be so snowed under with calls they won't have a clue what to do. So, you'll have to deal with it yourself.

  • Reduce fire hazards in your home. Children are the worst fire hazards; consider giving them up for adoption.
  • Fit and maintain smoke alarms - at least one on every floor. But if they go off every time you cook bacon, like ours do, just take the batteries out.
  • Most fire deaths and injuries occur while people are sleeping. Plan an escape route should a fire break out at night. Here's a hint: throw your children out of the window FIRST, then follow.
  • If there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. Not necessarily in that order, though.
  • Never use the lift. As if you have a lift in your house. Tell you what, though, if you have one of those Stannah Stairlifts? You're screwed.
  • If moving or trapped in smoke stay close to the floor where the air is cleaner. While you're there, do some hoovering by putting your mouth to the floor and sucking.
  • If a door feels hot, do not open it, as it probably means there is a hot hot disco party on the other side.
Fire prevention and safety

“Do not wait until a fire occurs to think about it. Act now. There could be a fire in your home RIGHT NOW and YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT! LOOK! LOOK AROUND! IS THERE FIRE? HM? IS THERE? DO YOU KNOW?”

Not Duncan Preston, President of the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers’ Association

If there is a bomb warning at your place of work, the people in charge will probably just pull the fire alarm and hope everyone knows what to do.

If a bomb goes off in your building, look for the safest way out. (THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS FOR THAT EXCELLENT ADVICE.)

If you are trapped in debris:

  • Swear profusely.
  • Try not to die.

If a bomb goes off outside your building, stay inside (away from windows, lifts and outer doors) in case there is a second bomb in the area. Because one bomb just isn't enough nowadays, darling, all the proper terrorists use two.


The Fire and Rescue Service has become equipped in recent years to decontaminate large numbers of people quickly. This involves showering with soap and water and then dressing in temporary clothing that would be provided. Also, it gives them a good laugh.

Move away from the immediate source of danger

But wait for the emergency services to arrive and examine you and, if necessary, decontaminate you. With large scourers.

If you go home untreated you could contaminate others and make any incident worse. Instead, go to your local theatre and hope Cannon and Ball are performing. You never know - you might be able to do a great service to humanity.

Chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) incident

In all of these situations - keep calm, think before you act and listen to the advice of the emergency services. If you are deaf, wait for semaphore vans to arrive.

Emergency plans exist in all areas of the UK
Honestly, they do. No, you can't see them. You just have to trust us.

Health and hospitals
Emergency equipment, vaccines and antibiotics are stored around the UK and are quickly available to doctors. Anyone who isn't a doctor... you may have to wait for a bit.

Emergency planning exercises
Every year, many exercises are held involving the emergency services and all agencies responsible for recovery. These exercises practise our response to a range of emergencies, including terrorism, by testing our preparedness. Plus, they make the government look really good come election time!