What to do if you're asked to leave your home

If the emergency services ask you to leave your home, please leave as quickly as possible and don't argue.

You'll only be asked to leave it's essential for your safety.

Where will you be taken?

It's likely that the emergency services will offer you the option of going to a rest centre. This will be a place of safety and a source of information, for the ongoing emergency.

If you decide to stay with friends or relatives, make sure that the emergency services or the local authority knows how to contact you when you can return to your home.

It's best to decide in advance where you want to go.

If you're going to family or friends, make sure that you have their telephone numbers to hand. Also decide whether you will you meet up with them at a pre-arranged location.

Requirements for people with additional needs

If you have elderly or disabled neighbours, tell the emergency services that they might need help. They'll make special arrangements for people with additional needs.

Before you leave your home

If it's safe to do so, make sure fires are out, switch off water, gas and electricity and lock up.

If there is time and it's safe to do so, collect together:

  • copies of insurance and other important documents. for example personal identification
  • keys for your home and vehicle
  • valuables and sentimental items
  • money and credit/debit cards
  • mobile phone and charger
  • wind up or battery powered torch and radio which will provide light and information
  • warm, waterproof clothing and blankets
  • first aid kit and any medication you are taking
  • glasses or contact lenses
  • bottled water and long-life food, snacks and sweets, including any special food. If it is in a tin remember to bring a tin opener with it
  • baby food and care items
  • toiletries
  • spare clothes
  • child's special toy
  • items for pets
  • notepad and pen or pencil
  • list of useful contact numbers.

If you would like further information on what you can do to be prepared for a major emergency or incident, you can download our Preparing for Emergencies booklet.

What to do with pets

If you are evacuated from your home, it's likely you'll want to take your pet along with you. Unfortunately, not all emergency centres are able to cater for pets, so it's essential that you include the care of pets in your planning too.

Find out more about what to do with pets in emergencies on the Centre for Disease, Control and Prevention website and the RSPCA website.