An emergency situation could happen any time and lead to the loss of basic services, such as water and electricity, or life-threatening situations.
Unless told otherwise by emergency services, during a major emergency you should always stay inside. In the case of a fire, evacuate the building.
For the latest information, check the council’s social media channels on Twitter and Facebook which will be updated at the earliest opportunity, or those of local police and emergency services. You may also tune in to a local radio station.
How we plan for emergencies
In an emergency we will:
- provide support for emergency services
- care for those affected by the incident
- lead the recovery after an incident
We will provide:
- rest centres
- welfare and support
- structural examinations
- road closures and diversions
We work in partnership with other local public services and surrounding boroughs to produce emergency plans for North Central London. This Local Resilience Forum shares information on identified and assessed risks.
Risks are identified and assessed to ensure London is prepared for emergencies. These risks are published in the London Risk Register, which helps us plan for local emergencies and update the risk register for Enfield.
Some of the top risks in Enfield are:
- industrial accident
- flu pandemic
- loss of utilities
- transport accidents
For more information, visit GOV.UK - Risk assessment: how the risk of emergencies in the UK is assessed.
In an evacuation, transport will be provided to allocated rest centres. A rest centre offers shelter, amenities and information while the emergency is being dealt with.
At rest centres we can:
- reunite separated families
- keep records of who the emergency has affected
- work with the police and set up a helpline
Making an emergency plan
An emergency plan should be written or discussed with family members. It should include what to do if there is an emergency or you have to evacuate.
Useful points for your emergency plan include:
- knowing how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies
- making sure everyone knows all the possible exits for the home
- choose places, both local and further away, to go if evacuated or unable to go home
- important contact numbers for relatives, doctors, the local authority and utility companies
- details of your household insurance
- a list of medication
You should keep the emergency plan in a safe place and give copies to your family.
Emergency grab bag
It's useful to have an emergency grab bag prepared in case you need to evacuate your home. This should include useful items, such as:
- copies of your family emergency plan
- a basic first-aid kit
- a torch and spare batteries
- a battery operated or wind-up radio
- jumpers or blankets
- non-perishable food
- supplies for young children or pets
- money or emergency credit cards
- copies of medical prescriptions
You can also make an emergency bag for your car and include:
- a first-aid kit
- a torch and spare batteries
- an in-car mobile phone charger
- blankets and spare clothing
- a shovel for rural areas
Extreme weather conditions
It's important to be prepared for extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snow and ice, especially if you live in a rural area. You should think about what you would do if you:
- could not leave your home
- were stuck in your car
- had children whose schools were closed
- had elderly or vulnerable neighbours
Tips to prepare for bad weather:
- Have a good pair of boots with sufficient grip and warmth
- To prevent ice and snow build-up, use salt or cat litter on pavements and driveways before it snows
- Keep a shovel in your home
For more information on planning for bad weather, visit:
- GOV.UK policies
- Environment Agency on drought
- Environment Agency on flooding
- World Health Organisation on influenza
The 5 flood-risk areas in Enfield are:
- Pymmes Brook
- River Lee
- Salmons Brook
- Small River Lee
- Turkey Brook
You can find out if you're in a flood risk area, by visiting GOV.UK - Check for flooding.
Tips to prepare for flooding:
- If you're at risk of flooding, keep empty sandbags, and sand or earth ready to place around doorways and air-vents
- Have an emergency plan and emergency grab bag ready
- Check your neighbours know about warnings issued, especially if they're elderly or vulnerable
- Cooperate with the emergency services if they tell you to evacuate
In the event of a flood, you should:
- move valuable items and furniture upstairs, or place them onto blocks
- plug sinks
- switch off power sockets, electricity, gas and water
In major emergency situations, warnings and advice will be issued to the public through radio and TV. You should have a battery-operated radio ready, in case of power cuts.
We use a multi-agency flood plan, which supports a coordinated response from multiple responding organisations in the event of a major incident.
The Met Office issue warnings and advice when severe or hazardous weather could cause danger, or widespread disruption of communication or transport. You can also keep updated via the BBC, who provide weather warnings and features on climate change.
Tips to prepare for storms:
- Bring inside or secure loose outdoor items, such as garden furniture and anything that could be blown into windows
- Close windows, clear window sills, and draw curtains to protect from flying glass
- Park vehicles in a garage if available, or keep clear of trees, walls and fences
In the event of a storm, you should:
- stay indoors, or try not to walk or shelter close to trees and walls
- take care when driving on exposed routes and never drive through flood water (80% of flood deaths occur in vehicles)
- turn off utilities if you have to evacuate
After a storm, you should check that relatives and neighbours are safe, and inspect your home for any structural damage.
During the summer, temperatures can rise to over 30°C, which can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly or seriously ill.
Although severe heatwaves are uncommon in the UK, they can be fatal. The Met Office will issue alerts if the average temperature is 30°C during the day and 15°C overnight:
- Level 1 is the minimum alert and is in place from 1 June until 15 September
- Level 2 is when there is a high chance of a heatwave within the next few days
- Level 3 is when a heatwave is happening
- Level 4 is when a heatwave is severe
In the event of a heatwave, you should:
- keep out of the sun and stay cool
- drink regularly to stay hydrated
- help others
For more information on planning for heatwaves, visit:
National emergency alerts
Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby. In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.
The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.
Emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services, government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies. You’ll get alerts based on your current location, not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.
Reasons you might get an alert include:
- severe flooding
- extreme weather
When you get an emergency alert, your mobile phone or tablet may:
- make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.
An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
Register to volunteer during an emergency
During an emergency, the support of our community makes a big difference to how we respond and recover.
If you would like to know more or register as a volunteer, visit Enfield Voluntary Action.