Called 'Preparing for Emergencies - what you need to know', the
common sense, practical guidance on prevention and planning for
situations including major accidents and terrorist attacks, has
been written jointly by the Government and a wide range of experts
including the emergency services, MI5, the Chief Medical Officer
and the Emergency Planning Society.
The booklet has been developed following extensive research into
what sort of advice the public would find useful.
The 22-page booklet, which will be delivered to every home in
England, Scotland, Walesand Northern Ireland over the next few
weeks, includes advice on:
# what to do in an emergency;
# coping with specific emergencies;
# basic first aid;
# how to prepare for an emergency; and
# how you can help prevent a terrorist attack.
It also gives examples of the steps that have been taken by Government
and the ‘blue light’ services to protect the UK and
ensure it is in the best possible position to react and respond
to a range of possible emergencies, including acts of terrorism.
Home Secretary David Blunkett said:
“We have significantly increased the information we have
made available to the public over the past three years, particularly
through the Home Office, UK Resilience and MI5 websites. This
booklet reflects another stage in that process of keeping people
It's not only about what they can do, but about what we as Government
are doing to make the UK as safe a place as possible.
“Public safety and security is the number one concern for
Government. The practical advice in this booklet will allow people
to make sensible preparations that will help them in a range
of emergencies, such as fires, as well as terrorist incidents.
“This is not in response to any specific or heightened threat
to the UK but it is clear there has been an increasing wish from
the public to have this information and advice drawn together
and made easily available.
“The Government is working hard to ensure that we are as
safe as we can be from people who would cause us harm. Public
vigilance and co-operation can make a vital contribution and people
remain alert but not alarmed. Following the advice in this booklet
will ensure we are better able to cope with any emergency.
“We will continue to review how best to give people the
information they need, and this latest addition will mean that
every household in the country has access to expert advice on
common sense measures that could help them prevent, or better cope
As well as being downloadable from a special website, the booklet
will be available in a range of languages.
The booklet invites households to complete and keep to hand an
emergency contact details sheet to include numbers such as the
local police station and frequency of a local radio station to
tune in to hear public safety information.
An awareness-raising campaign begins this evening, with the first
screening of a television advertisement to alert viewers to the
Douglas Alexander, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
“This booklet promotes clearer understanding of what to
do in an emergency, bringing together advice in one practical
guide that you can keep to hand at home. With this, people across
UK will be able to play their part in preventing emergencies
and help deal with them. Much of the content is common sense, but
has saved lives in the past.
“Public safety is our absolute priority. We introduced the
Civil Contingencies Bill, which will strengthen civil protection
arrangements and have made massive investments to improve resilience.
This updates longstanding legislation in relation to coping with
emergencies, and builds on the major counter-terrorism legislation
passed in the year 2000 and in the aftermath of 11 September
"This is about being prepared, but as we have always made
clear, if a warning is necessary to protect public safety in
the face of a specific and credible threat, we will issue one without
hesitation along with information that will help the public respond
Notes to editors:
1. The booklet can be downloaded from http://www.preparingforemergencies.gov.uk and will be available in the following languages and formats:
audio tape; large print; Braille, Bengali, Chinese, Arabic, Somali,
Urdu, Punjabi and Gujarati as well as English.
2. Bilingual versions will be delivered in Wales.
3. Booklets will be delivered to every household in the UK throughout
August. A follow up advertising campaign will be launched at the
end of the month giving details of where people can go to get their
copy if it has not arrived, or get additional copies.
4. Useful contact numbers:
999 - in an emergency
0800 789 321 - the police anti-terrorist hotline, for anyone with
tip-offs or confidential information about possible terrorist activity
0845 46 47 - NHS Direct for information or advice about health
or first aid issues
020 7930 9000 - MI5 phoneline, if you know something that you
think may be a threat to national security.
5. Useful information on emergency planning and security can be
found on the following websites:
The Home Office: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/terrorism
The Security Service: http://www.mi5.gov.uk
Links to a wide range of stakeholder websites can
be found on http://www.preparingforemergencies.gov.uk
6. Images of the production of the Preparing for
Emergencies booklet can be downloaded for press use from: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/press/preparingforemergencies.html
Published: 26 Jul 2004
Crown copyright 1995 - 2004