To get the best experience of this website, we recommend you upgrade your browser.

Upgrade your Internet Explorer

Durham County Council

Page location

Emergency safety advice


Severe weather, power cuts and other emergency situations can affect us all at one time or another. Follow our emergency safety advice to make sure you're prepared for any situation you find yourself in.

If you are in immediate danger call 999.

Before an emergency arises

  • Make an emergency plan to prepare you and your family for an emergency using our household emergency plan template. You don't need any specialist knowledge; it is all about you and your home. 
  • Make a list of any medication you or your family take.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers and insurance numbers.
  • Make sure that important documents and emergency supplies are kept out of the way of flood water e.g. on a high shelf. Suggestions include:
    • a fireproof box containing your important documents 
    • an external hard drive with a recent back-up of your computer
    • tinned food and dried fruit
    • a supply of candles and matches in case of a power cut
    • an "emergency bag" with things you will need to leave home quickly such as toiletries, a first aid kit, anti-bacterial hand gel, a wind up torch and radio, medication, matches/lighter and candles and important documents. Don't forget your money and mobile phone charger. 

During an emergency

  • In the event of a flood follow our flooding safety advice.
  • If there is snow or ice, or in long periods of cold weather, follow our winter safety advice.
  • Check your local radio station for news bulletins and weather forecasts.
    • BBC Radio Newcastle (95 - 96fm, 103.5-104.5fm)
    • BBC Radio Tees (95fm)
    • Metro (102-103fm, 97.1fm)
    • Capital North East (105-106fm)
    • Star FM (County Durham 102.8fm, Bishop Auckland 106.8fm, Darlington 103.2fm, Northallerton 103.5fm, Richmond 102.6fm)
    • Radio Teesdale (102.1fm, 105.5fm)
    • Bishop FM (105.9fm)
  • Check for any disruptions, closures and warnings.
  • Use social media to keep up with emergency information.  
    • Follow us on Twitter
    • The Met Office @MetOffice
    • The Environment Agency @EnvAgencyYNE
    • Durham Police @DurhamPolice
  • Stay as far away from the emergency situation as you can e.g. in severe weather stay inside, in case of a fire leave the building and stand well away.
  • Look after vulnerable friends and neighbours who are more likely to struggle. If you are worried about someone call Social Care Direct on the number below.

When the emergency is over

  • Look out for information in the local news or from the council.
  • If you've had to leave home, don't return until you are told it's safe.