how to prepare for a range of emergencies, with the nation-wide
distribution next month of a new public information booklet.
common sense, practical guidance on prevention and planning for
situations including major accidents and terrorist attacks, has been
written jointly by the government and a wide range of experts
including the emergency services, MI5, the chief medical officer and
the Emergency Planning Society.
The booklet has been developed following extensive research into what
sort of advice the public would find useful.
The 22-page booklet, which will be delivered to every home in
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the next few
weeks, includes advice on:
* what to do in an emergency
* coping with specific emergencies
* basic first aid
* how to prepare for an emergency
* how you can help prevent a terrorist attack
It also gives examples of the steps that have been taken by
government and the 'blue light' services to protect the UK and ensure
it is in the best possible position to react and respond to a range
of possible emergencies, including acts of terrorism.
Home secretary David Blunkett said:
'We have significantly increased the information we have made
available to the public over the past three years, particularly
through the Home Office, UK Resilience and MI5 websites. This booklet
reflects another stage in that process of keeping people informed.
It's not only about what they can do, but about what we as government
are doing to make the UK as safe a place as possible.
'Public safety and security is the number one concern for government.
The practical advice in this booklet will allow people to make
sensible preparations that will help them in a range of emergencies,
such as fires, as well as terrorist incidents.
'This is not in response to any specific or heightened threat to the
UK but it is clear there has been an increasing wish from the public
to have this information and advice drawn together and made easily
'The government is working hard to ensure that we are as safe as we
can be from people who would cause us harm. Public vigilance and
co-operation can make a vital contribution and people should remain
alert but not alarmed. Following the advice in this booklet will
ensure we are better able to cope with any emergency.
'We will continue to review how best to give people the information
they need, and this latest addition will mean that every household in
the country has access to expert advice on common sense measures that
could help them prevent, or better cope with, disasters.'
As well as being downloadable from a special website, the booklet
will be available in a range of languages.
The booklet invites households to complete and keep to hand an
emergency contact details sheet to include numbers such as the local
police station and frequency of a local radio station to tune in to
hear public safety information.
An awareness-raising campaign begins this evening, with the first
screening of a television advertisement to alert viewers to the
Douglas Alexander, minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
'This booklet promotes clearer understanding of what to do in an
emergency, bringing together advice in one practical guide that you
can keep to hand at home. With this, people across the UK will be
able to play their part in preventing emergencies and help deal with
them. Much of the content is common sense, but it has saved lives in
'Public safety is our absolute priority. We introduced the Civil
Contingencies Bill, which will strengthen civil protection
arrangements and have made massive investments to improve resilience.
This updates longstanding legislation in relation to coping with
emergencies, and builds on the major counter-terrorism legislation
passed in the year 2000 and in the aftermath of 11th September 2001.
'This is about being prepared, but as we have always made clear, if a
warning is necessary to protect public safety in the face of a
specific and credible threat, we will issue one without hesitation
along with information that will help the public respond
1. The booklet can be downloaded here
and is available in the following
languages and formats: audio tape; large print; Braille, Bengali,
Chinese, Arabic, Somali, French, Urdu, Punjabi and Gujarati as well
2. Bilingual versions will be delivered in Wales.
3. Booklets will be delivered to every household in the UK throughout
August. A follow up advertising campaign will be launched at the end
of the month giving details of where people can go to get their copy
if it has not arrived, or get additional copies.
4. Useful contact numbers:
999 - in an emergency
0800 789 321 - the police anti-terrorist hotline, for anyone with
tip-offs or confidential information about possible terrorist
0845 46 47 - NHS Direct for information or advice about health or
first aid issues
020 7930 9000 - MI5 phoneline, if you know something that you think
may be a threat to national security.
5. Useful information on emergency planning and security can be found
on the following websites:
The Home Office: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/terrorism UK Resilience:
www.ukresilience The Security Service www.mi5.gov.uk
Links to a wide range of stakeholder websites can be found on
6. Images of the production of the Preparing for Emergencies booklet
can be downloaded for press use from
Press release from the Scottish Executive follows:
Emergency advice booklet
Every household in Scotland is to receive a booklet from the government advising them on what to do in the event of an emergency.
Developed in partnership with the UK government, the booklet includes practical advice on how to prepare for an emergency, information on what action to take should one occur, and key contact telephone numbers.
Welcoming the UK launch of the information booklets, which will be delivered to households in August, deputy justice minister Hugh Henry said:
'Public safety is always a prime concern for the Executive and this booklet will assist in ensuring that the public is better informed and better prepared should an emergency arise. The additional and emerging threat from global terrorism makes this an opportune time to improve the quality and quantity of easily-accessible information each and every one of us needs.
'I am grateful to the wide range of organisations that have assisted in its creation which has ensured that it offers the best possible available advice. People across Scotland will have practical, common sense information at their fingertips. Much of the information is consistent across the UK, however we have also ensured that where there are differences in Scottish institutions or circumstances these are reflected.
'I want to make clear that government is publishing this information not because of any specific threat but because we want the public to be alert, aware and kept informed - not that they should be alarmed.'
The booklet is published by the UK government and is fully supported by the Scottish Executive and the other devolved administrations. The information in the booklet covers areas that are both reserved to the UK government and devolved to the Scottish Executive.
The campaign is also supported by a new website.
A national TV and newspaper advertising campaign will begin today advising the public of this new booklet and the advice which it offers. Booklets will drop through letterboxes during August. It is possible that not all households will receive a copy at this distribution for a variety of reasons and arrangements are in place to provide reminders and advice on where copies of the booklet can be obtained.
The cost of the campaign across the UK is£8.3m with Scotland's contribution being£1m.
Government departments across the UK including the Scottish Executive have written to a wide range of stakeholders whose organisation is mentioned in the booklet or whose business may be affected by its content.