Overview

An emergency is an event or situation which threatens serious damage to:

  • human welfare in a place in the UK
  • the environment of a place in the UK
  • war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK.

It will require a response beyond the everyday resources of the emergency services and those departments and organisations that support them.

An emergency cannot normally be predicted and can come in any form:

  • severe weather
  • natural disaster
  • technological/industrial accidents
  • power failures
  • transport/road/rail/air
  • terrorism

It can happen very suddenly (e.g. an aircraft crash) or have a more gradual onset (e.g. flooding following a period of heavy rain). It may be from a natural cause or one that is ‘man-made’.

Emergencies can happen quickly and without warning

It could mean the loss of basic services including water, gas, power and telephones.

It may mean damage or threat of damage to your property by flooding, fire or blast.