Preparing your Family for a Civil Emergency

Preparing your Family for a Civil Emergency container

Preparing your Family for a Civil Emergency content

Ready Dundee

This material has been put together by Dundee City Council to give you and your family basic information about what to do if an emergency incident affects you. Many different types of event can be classed as an emergency, and they can happen at any time.

Being ready for most types of emergency does not need any special knowledge, just a few minutes of your time to make preparations. This guide will help you.

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A civil emergency can be declared by the police or fire service when the situation surrounding different types of incident escalates to involve large numbers of people or a major threat to many properties.

An emergency situation can arise from:

  • fire;
  • extreme weather;
  • flooding;
  • utilities failure eg power cut or gas main leak;
  • chemical spill;
  • transport collision;
  • terrorist action / threat; or
  • a combination of the above.

Dundee City Council and its neighbouring local authorities, along with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, the marine and coastguard agency and voluntary organisations are involved in drawing up, testing and modifying civil contingency plans every day. Civil contingency or emergency planning is about reducing the likelihood and impact of an emergency in Dundee.


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If an emergency is declared in all or part of Dundee, it could affect you in a number of different ways. While the cause of the situation might be different, the most likely impacts on people can be grouped together.

These include:

  • loss of electricity, telephone, water or gas;
  • short-term evacuation;
  • temporary isolation;
  • damage to your home, community buildings or workplace; and
  • injury, severe illness or death of members of your family or the wider community.

If there is an emergency, dial 999 and speak to the appropriate service. Police, fire, ambulance and coastguard personnel deal with hazardous and dangerous situations on a daily basis and they are best equipped to handle them.

If an emergency is declared you will be notified by the police. Up to date information on the situation, including advice on what you should do and where to get further details will be broadcast on local radio and television channels, many of which also offer an internet news service. This website will also try to keep you up to date with the situation, but ensure that you have a battery powered radio handy in case the power is cut. During an emergency if contact information for the council or other services that you use regularly changes, you will be told using the methods already mentioned.

Local radio stations covering the Dundee area include:

As part of your preparations at home for an emergency you should create an emergency box. Small enough to carry and stored in a safe place that everyone in your household can find quickly it should include:

  • details of any prescription medicines;
  • telephone numbers, insurance details and reference numbers for utility companies;
  • toiletries;
  • an extra set of contact lenses or glasses;
  • first aid kit;
  • battery powered radio, torch and extra batteries;
  • notebook and pen/pencil; and
  • mobile phone charger.


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In previous emergency situations across the world, telephone systems have become overloaded, particularly mobile phone networks. If you are using the phone to contact people, calls should be kept short, as the emergency services will need the lines for their own use.

It is important to pre-arrange a meeting point where members of your family and those close to you can gather in an emergency if you can't get into your home. You could consider using the house of another relative or family friend or a prominent public building away from the immediate emergency location.

If the police or other emergency services ask you to leave your home, turn off the electricity and water supply at the main switch and take your emergency box with you. For many people their pet is an important member of the household, and it is useful to have thought through what your pet will need.

Dundee City Council has plans for providing shelter for its citizens on a temporary basis at emergency rest centres strategically placed around the city.

When you get to the centre you will be asked to register, by giving your name, address and contact details. This will help staff at the rest centre meet the needs of what could be large groups of frightened or vulnerable people and will help your loved ones to find you and verify your safety. It may take a while to get the information needed, but it is vital that everyone at the rest centre is registered.

In its plans Dundee City Council has made every effort to ensure that the accommodation is comfortable, but it will be communal and may be crowded. It may help you to think about friends and relatives that might be able to put you up on a temporary basis or if your home insurance covers temporary accommodation.

Scottish Government information about emergencies planning can be found on the Ready Scotland website.


For further details contact:

Graeme Mackenzie
Tel: 01382 433301

Risk and Business Continuity Manager
Finance Department
Floor 4, Dundee House
Dundee DD1 1NZ