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    Preparing for an Emergency

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    Date of last review: 10 November 2016


    Unfortunately the UK faces a threat from terrorism. Such events can lead to casualties, damage to property and infrastructure, disruption to essential services and even evacuation. The UK government has a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy to protect key sites, transport networks and crowded places. They have issued the following advice to people in the event of a firearms and weapons attack. 

    Run Hide Tell

    A short Youtube video on what to do in the event of a firearms and weapons attack. 

    Cold Weather

    Cold weather brings with it a number of health risks. Older people are especially vulnerable to a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) as the days become colder. There are some easy things you can do to protect yourself against the cold such as ensuring that you wear warm clothes, keep the temperature at at least 18 degrees and to remain active. Click on the following links to find out if you are eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment.

    Know your free emergency numbers: In a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.

    Prepare your home: Keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Register as a vulnerable customer: Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Click here to find out more about the Priority Services Register in London, the South and East of England or to sign up.

    Keep your eyes open: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.

    Age UK and the NHS have produced a short "Top Tips for Keeping Warm and Well" (see PDF below). You can also get tips on staying healthy at winter from NHS Choices. Keep track of Cold Weather from November to March via the Cold Weather Alert.


    When the weather is too hot for a long period of time it can adversely affect health. The risks of exposure to long periods of hot weather include dehydration, heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Prolonged hot weather can affect anyone, but those most at risk include those over 75; young children and babies; those with chronic conditions, such as heart or breathing problems; as well as those who spend long periods outdoors including those who do sports and labourers.

    If a heatwave is forecast (Level 2 Alert) the Met Office will raise an alert. The NHS recommends taking the following steps in preparation for a heatwave:
    1) Stay tuned to weather forecasts on radio, TV or social media
    2) Check the forecast at your destination, if you are planning to travel
    3) Follow the Public Health England checklist on how to keep cool at home

    OrganisationContact Number / WebsiteWhen to call? / what for?
    Met access the latest weather forecasts.
    NHS111 (Non-Emergency Number)During a heatwave, if someone is feeling unwell and shows symptoms of breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, intense thirst, weakness or dizziness.
    NHSwww.nhs.ukFor information on how to cope in hot weather.

    Flood Information and Reporting Floods

    WhoNumberWhen to call?
    Floodline0345 988 1188
    Highways Flood Reporting0300 123 4047Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue teams work to clear flooded roads and attend calls.
    Environment Agency Incident Communication Service0800 80 70 60
    National Rail08547 48 49 50For national rail enquiries
    Thameslink Railway0800 058 2844
    Bus Services

    0871 200 22 33

    Do you know the flood risk of your area?
    You can also keep up to date with the latest flood warnings.

    Sandbags for residents

    If you are at risk of being flooded, you might want to consider keeping some empty sandbags and sand or earth ready for use at the first sign of trouble.  These are available from builders merchants.

    The Council makes a limited number of aquabags (used like sandbags) available to parish councils in areas where there is most risk of flooding. These are used to assist those people who are most vulnerable and unable to help themselves.  For the unparished areas of the City we also keep a limited number of aquabags at the Civic Centre. Again these are for the Council to use to help vulnerable people who are not able to help themselves and are most at risk.

    Poor Air Quality

    Poor air quality can have negative effects on health as well as compound pre-existing health conditions. The Air Quality Helpline and twitter feed allow you to get information on and keep track of air quality in the UK.

    WhoNumberWhen to call?
    Air Quality Helpline0800 556677Automated service for information about air pollution.

    Air Quality Twitter Feed: @Defraukair

    Daily Pollution Forecast

    Business Continuity

    Business continuity plans and risk assessment can help to reduce the impact of an emergency or incident on day-to-day operations.

    Planning an Event

    Are you planning an event in St Albans? Be sure to visit the event planning pages and read the Event Planning Protocol. These pages also include information on completing a risk assessment helping you to plan and mitigate for hazards.

    Date of last review: 25 June 2018