Are you emergency ready?

Published: 13 May 2024

backpack on a table with emergency supplies such as water, credit cards, keys and emergency contact list

Island residents and businesses are being asked one important question this Business Continuity and Resilience Awareness Week — are you emergency ready?

The Isle of Wight Council is supporting the annual campaign that aims to provide people with ideas on how they can prepare for potential incidents and to raise awareness of being ready for emergency situations.

Record-setting rainfall and extreme weather across the Island last autumn/winter have underscored the need for emergency preparedness — and one of the key themes this year is community resilience.

Disasters and emergencies such as last October's devastating floods and the catastrophic landslide at Bonchurch, one of the largest landslides recorded on the South Coast of England, can strike without warning, anywhere and anytime.

Being prepared helps protect yourself, the people you love and the things you value most in the event of an emergency.

By taking a proactive approach, you can equip yourself with the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to tackle unexpected challenges head-on — and help reduce their impact when they do happen.

Simple things can help to make you more resilient, such as packing a 'grab-and-go bag' — a rucksack filled with essential supplies that's easy to grab in case you need to evacuate your home or workplace on short notice — and writing a household emergency plan.

A checklist of suggested 'grab bag' items and a useful template for residents to draft their own emergency home plan can be found on a new council web page launched today (Monday) in support of Business Continuity Awareness Week.

The 'Are you emergency ready' web page lists five steps to prepare for an emergency.

It includes information on how to sign up for emergency alerts from the Met Office and the Environment Agency, and how you can check the long-term flood risk of your own property, alongside detailed flood maps and general flooding preparation and advice.

Councillor Karen Lucioni, Cabinet member for community protection, said: "We tend not to think about emergencies until they occur. When an emergency strikes, its impact can be severe, both for individuals, businesses and the services that support them.

"Emergencies can also have a devastating impact on mental health, with the stress of dealing with major incidents. However, with a practical and proactive approach, and by planning ahead, you can make yourself more resilient to emergencies that might affect your community and your home.

"This will help mitigate the worst effects of an emergency while helping you and your community to recover much more quickly."