Search site

Frequently Asked Questions on Emergency Planning

What is a Major Emergency?

What are the types of emergencies?

What will the Council do in an emergency?

What should I do in an emergency?

What if I have to be evacuated?

How do I find out if I live in an area likely to flood?

Can I get sandbags from the Council to protect my property?

What is a Major Emergency?

Emergencies may apply to human, environmental or security issues, including flooding, severe weather, fires causing evacuations, terrorist attack and flu pandemic.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 defines an emergency as: "An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare or the environment; or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom."

What are the types of emergencies?

Central Government identifies types of emergencies that can happen in the UK and produces guidance on how likely it is an emergency will happen, as well as how severe the impact will be. These are identified in the National risk register.

The Council works with community partners in South West London produce a 'Community Risk Register'. This is based on the national risk register and includes risks relevant to the local area of South West London.

You can see this document on the London Fire Brigades website: 

http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/LocalResilienceForums.asp

What will the Council do in an emergency?

During an incident the Council has a set framework under which to respond. Whilst doing so the Council will seek to maintain their normal day-to-day services to the local community.

There are a number of activities which may be requested of the Council during an emergency, these are not restricted to, but can include:

Provide support to the Emergency Services

Provide support and care for the local and wider community

Use resources to mitigate the effects of an emergency

Co-ordinate the response by organisations other than the Emergency Services

What should I do in an emergency?

Sutton is one of the safest boroughs in London and is a safe place to live and work, however emergencies can happen.

  • If you are involved in an emergency try to remain calm. 
  • If people are injured, or if there is a threat to life or property, make sure 999 has been called to alert the emergency services (police, fire, ambulance).
  • Check yourself for injuries - remember to tend to yourself before trying to help others.
  • Move to a safe place and do not put yourself or others in danger.
  • Follow the advice of the emergency services.
  • In most emergencies, it is safer to stay indoors. Simple advice is to go inside, stay inside and tune in to the local radio for advice and information.  Your local radio stations are:

    • Absolute, 105.8 FM
    • BBC London Live, 94.9 FM
    • Capital FM, 95.8 FM
    • Heart, 106.2 FM
    • Jackie, 107.8 FM
    • LBC, 97.3 FM
    • Magic, 105.4 FM

What if I have to be evacuated?

If you are asked to leave your home, leave as quickly and calmly as possible.  We would recommend that you go to family or friends to wait until it is safe to re-enter your home.  If it is not possible for you to go to friends or family, you will be directed to the Rest Centre that will be set up by the Council.

How do I find out if I live in an area likely to flood?

You can find out if your property is in a flood zone by checking on the  Environment Agency's flood pages. If you are in a flood zone you can register to receive flood warnings via these pages, or call Floodline on 0845 9881188.

Can I get sandbags from the Council to protect my property?

The ultimate responsibility for protecting a private business or residence lies with the owner of that property.  The Council does not provide sandbags to residents or businesses. Please see the flood advice for more information on obtaining sandbags to protect your property.