What to do in an emergency

The best thing you can do in an emergency incident is to try to remain calm, think before acting and try to reassure others. 

  • Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life
  • Don’t put yourself or others in danger, let the emergency services deal with potentially dangerous situations
  • Follow the advice of the emergency services
  • Check for injuries - remember to help yourself before attempting to help others
  • Look out for vulnerable neighbours

 If you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, in most cases the advice is:

  • GO IN - Go inside a safe building
  • STAY IN - Stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise
  • TUNE IN - Tune in to local radio, TV and local emergency websites for more information.


If your house is affected by the incident or in the surrounding area, the Emergency Services may ask you to evacuate your property for your own safety. In the event of an evacuation, Bedford Borough Council will open an Emergency Assistance Centre to cater for basic immediate needs which will be staffed by Bedford Borough Council volunteers and voluntary organisations.

If you are asked to evacuate then you can take important numbers, a mobile phone, and charger and important documents such as birth certificates, passports and insurance policies. See the Home Emergency Kit pages for more information on what to pack in preparation for evacuation.

After an emergency

Once the response phase of the emergency has been dealt with, the recovery phase will start. While the Local Authority takes the lead in recovery after the emergency, it does not have the resources to help every individual or business affected by the emergency. The Council will direct its limited resources to help those who are vulnerable.

We may also coordinate voluntary support from local groups to support people.

If you have been flooded The National Flood Forum has practical advice on how to clear up and dry out affected areas of your property.