While evacuation is generally considered to be a last resort, evacuations are more common than you may think. A gas leak may cause the emergency services to evacuate a whole street.
Not all evacuations are long term, sometimes you can return after a few hours, however, in a chemical incident, your house may not be habitable and you would have to be re-housed while decontamination is carried out.
Be prepared for an evacuation:
- Discuss with your family what you would do in the event of an evacuation
- Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated during an emergency
- Assemble an emergency supply kit including essential items, e.g. prescription medicine, baby items (if applicable), toiletries, phone numbers, radio etc
- Know how to shut off your home's electricity, gas and water supplies at main switches and valves and have the necessary tools to hand
If you are advised to evacuate:
- Respond to the instructions from the emergency services. They will inform you, tell you what to do and where to go
- Use whatever transport is made available
- Report to any named location where further advice will be available
- Make sure you have warm clothing
- Get together any special food for babies and medicines in use
- Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies
- Close and lock windows and doors when you leave
- Make sure you have a secure carrier or leash for any pets