Protect Yourself and Your Community

County Durham and Darlington Local Resilience Forum (LRF)

Severe weather, flooding, power cuts and other emergency situations can affect us all at one time or another. Follow our emergency safety advice to make sure you're prepared for any situation you find yourself in.

If you are in immediate danger call 999.

Before an emergency arises

  • Make an emergency plan to prepare you and your family for an emergency using our household emergency plan template. You don't need any specialist knowledge; it is all about you and your home. 
  • Make a list of any medication you or your family take.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers and insurance numbers.
  • Make sure that important documents and emergency supplies are kept out of the way of flood water e.g. on a high shelf. Suggestions include:
  • a fireproof box containing your important documents
  • an external hard drive with a recent back-up of your computer

During an emergency

  • Use social media to keep up with emergency information:
  • Use local social media channels for the latest information and details on community hubs that may be open.
  • Check your local radio station for news bulletins and weather forecasts.
    • BBC Radio Newcastle (95 - 96fm, 103.5-104.5fm)
    • BBC Radio Tees (95fm)
    • Metro (102-103fm, 97.1fm)
    • Capital North East (105-106fm)
    • Bishop FM (105.9fm)
    • Sun FM (103.4fm)
  • Check for any disruptions, closures and warnings
  • Stay as far away from the emergency situation as you can e.g. in severe weather stay inside, in case of a fire leave the building and stand well away.
  • Look after vulnerable friends and neighbours who are more likely to struggle. If you are worried about someone call Social Care Direct on the number below.
  • If your community has a community emergency plan, contact the coordinator to find out what is happening and if there is anything you should know.

When the emergency is over

  • Look out for information in the local news or from the council.
  • If you've had to leave home, don't return until you are told it's safe.

Top Tip: Grab Bag

It is important to keep a bag full of important items that you might need if you are evacuated from your home in an emergency. Items may include:

  • Medication
  • Important documents
  • Toiletries
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Warm waterproof clothing
  • Bottled water and ready-to-eat food
  • Baby food and care items where necessary
  • First aid kit
  • Wind up battery torch and radio

Top Tip: Important Items to Store in Your Home

It may be useful to keep a stock of some specific items in your home in case of a power cut or severe weather which may result in restricted access to services for a period of time. Items may include:

  • Wind up torches or torches with a stock of batteries
  • Other battery powered light sources e.g., lanterns
  • Tinned food
  • Ready to eat food which doesn’t require heating up
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Portable power bank
  • Extra blankets/ foil blankets
  • Hot water bottles
  • Bottled water
  • Electric fan or small air conditioning unit
  • Corded phone
  • First aid kit

Priority Services Registers

Utility companies each have their own free, vulnerable persons register so it is a good idea to sign up to all of them to ensure you are on their priority service list in an incident if you feel it necessary.

For more information, visit:

Power cut- tips and advice

Check Northern Powergrid’s website for the most up to date information and advice on power cuts. You will also find links to their social media feeds which you may want to follow:

Here are some top tips to get you started:

  • Have a battery-powered or wind-up radio tuned into a local radio station
  • Keep a torch handy - much safer than candles
  • Only use alternative forms of heat or lighting if they're safe
  • Make sure you have a charged mobile to hand with all important numbers stored
  • Make a hot water bottle and fill a vacuum flask with something warm
  • Make sure you wrap up warm with extra clothes and/or blankets
  • Ensure cupboards are stocked with food and drink
  • Kitchen appliances will be ok during a power cut
  • Home and fire alarms may be affected during a power cut
  • Fish and livestock may be vulnerable during a power cut
  • Leave a light on so you can tell when the power is back on

Help Your Community

When an emergency occurs, it can affect the whole community. Community resilience is the ability of a community to prepare, respond to and recover from adverse situations by using local knowledge, resources and skills. This enables communities to act on the ground as soon as an emergency occurs and to begin a local response prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

Community Emergency Plans

  • These are plans that sit under your local Parish Council or community group which are put together by residents in your community (with the help of the Local Authority and the Environment Agency) that outline any local knowledge, local skills and resources within the community that may be useful during an emergency. The plans can also hold information to identify any vulnerable people living in the community.
  • Information has been collated to guide and help local communities plan for emergency situations
  • If you are interested in creating a community emergency plan, please email Durham County Council's Civil Contingencies Unit at

Link to Community 6 Step Guide:

Community Safety Award

  • This is an exciting award scheme which aims to educate and train young people to assist before, during and after an emergency. It was developed to give young people in the UK an opportunity to learn what to do in an emergency, such as severe weather, a pandemic or long term power cut. The award is open to young people in uniformed youth organisations across County Durham and Darlington between the ages of 10 and 18. 
  • If you are interested in signing your uniformed youth organisation up to the award scheme, please email Durham County Council's Civil Contingencies Unit at

Household Emergency Plan

  • It is a good idea to make an emergency plan for your household for you and your family to use in an emergency. You don’t need any specialist knowledge; it is all about you and your home.

Link to Household Emergency Plan:

Volunteer Handbook

  • Our Volunteer Handbook can be found here: