Be prepared

Make sure you know what to do

View each scenario for information on how to prepare yourself. The advice includes practical tips to consider before, during and after an incident occurs.

Major Transport Accident

A major transport accident can include road, rail and air transport. This can cause long delays on journeys as well as potential injury to the people involved. Three key tips to remember:

  1. Check traffic and public transport info before you travel.
  2. Make sure your car has an emergency kit.
  3. Do not make unnecessary journeys during severe weather.

Where to get more information and advice

  • Have an emergency kit in your car in case you get delayed.
  • When driving, follow the Highway Code and remain vigilant. If you feel tired, pull over in the nearest safe area and get some sleep.
  • Ensure your vehicle is kept in a roadworthy and safe condition.
  • Avoid non-essential journeys during severe weather.
  • Check that public transport is still operating before you travel. Check Traffic Wales and National Rail.
  • Have at least half a tank of fuel before you set out on a journey in case you are stuck in traffic or have an accident and have to wait several hours for assistance.
  • If possible, drive during the day, let someone know your destination, route and expected arrival time.
  • Take time to find out what would happen if your flight was delayed and could you gain compensation. Citizens Advice is a good starting point.
  • Check local news websites and listen to local radio stations to stay updated with traffic conditions.
  • Stay away from the affected area if possible.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

Cyber Security

The internet is a big part of our lives and many of us input personal information online such as email addresses and credit card details.

This means that there are many opportunities for our details to be accessed and abused by others.

To prevent this, here are some simple steps you can take to keep your personal information safe online:

  1. Use a strong password made of random letters and numbers
  2. Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your most important accounts (Banking, Email etc.)
  3. Install anti-virus software on your pc, laptop, tablet or phone.
  4. Delete any suspicious emails.
  5. Limit the personal information you put on social media.
  6. Back up any photographs and important documents.

Where to get more information and advice on Cyber Security

  • Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety
  • BBC Web Wise has short videos on internet security as well as general tips for online safety (BBC Web Wise is also a good starting point if you know someone who would like to learn how to use a computer)
  • Barclays has made a good video showing how easy it is to reveal too much information online
  • Cyber Aware is a UK Government website that is a hub for information on cyber security
  • Cyber Essentials is a UK Government website providing advice to improve you security online
  • The National Business Crime Centre has information for business on cyber security as well as many other risks
  • The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales exists to support and protect businesses and third sector organisations in the country against cyber-crime

Be prepared and avoid a cyber security attack

  • Use a strong password made of random words, numbers and symbols at least 12 characters long. Don’t use family names, birthdays or important places to you. Change passwords monthly.
  • Agree to trusted software updates as these protect your devices from viruses and hackers (programs and people that try to access and steal your details).
  • Back up any photographs and important documents on to an external USB stick or on to a cloud-based service.
  • Install anti-virus software
  • Delete any suspicious emails. If something seems too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you are having problems with your computer and receive a call or email stating so, approach the call with caution as this is likely to be a scam. Hang up or do not click on the link in the email and phone your internet provider or computer expert.
  • Password protect your mobile phone or computer.
  • If you are using a Wi-Fi network in a public place, make sure the connection is genuine and secure.
  • Limit the personal information you put on social media. Barclays has made a helpful video on cyber security showing how easy it is to reveal too much information online.

What to do if you think you have been a victim of a Cyber Crime

  • If you think that you have been a victim of cybercrime, a good starting point to get help and advice is Action Fraud.
  • If you think your bank details have been taken, contact your bank directly immediately using a trusted method. Be suspicious of any ‘cold calling’ by telephone or email.
  • If you think that you have been a victim of cyber security breach, change all your passwords on your online accounts.
  • Scan and clean your device or turn off your computer and get a professional to do it for you.
  • If it has happened on a work or school computer let the system owners know in case other computers have been affected.

101 - Non emergency (Police)

Loss of utilities and power cuts

Loss of utilities means the loss of electricity, gas and water to your home. This can happen at any time, often without warning. Although utility companies will work quickly to fix any problems, it may mean that you could be left without electricity, gas or water for several hours.

To be prepared to cope with a loss of utilities, there are some easy steps you can take.

  1. Have a torch that is easy to get to in the dark.
  2. Let your utility suppliers know if you rely on continuous supply of power for medical equipment or mobility equipment.
  3. Know where the utility cut off points are and how to turn them off safely.

Where to get more information and advice

Key numbers to call in the event of significant power or utility loss:

  • Keep a torch somewhere easy to find in the dark.
  • If you need a continuous supply of power for medical equipment or mobility equipment, let your utility suppliers know, as they will be able to help you if there is a power cut.
  • Check with your neighbours to see if they have lost their utilities too, it could just be a problem with your supply.
  • If you have a power cut, call 105 to report it.
  • Keep fridge and freezer doors closed during a power cut to stop food from spoiling. Fridges will keep food cold for about 4 hours, and a full freezer will keep food frozen for about 48 hours.
  • If you think there has been a gas leak, open doors and windows, shut off the gas supply at the cut-off point, leave your home to get some fresh air, ring 0800 111 999 to report the leak.
  • Don’t use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors or in garages. They give off carbon monoxide, which is life threatening.
  • Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical items e.g. hair drier or toaster to prevent any damage when the power does come back on.
  • If your water has been switched off, run your taps for a few minutes before you drink any of the water.
  • Throw out any spoiled food in fridges and freezers.
  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting any electrical items and don’t connect them all at once.
  • Reset your alarms, automatic timers, and clocks.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)


Heavy rainfall can cause extensive flooding that can cause traffic disruption as well as damage to your home.  Heavy rainfall is likely to become more common over the coming years due to climate change.

To protect yourself and your home from damage caused by heavy rain and flooding, you can follow these simple steps.

  1. Sign up for flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales
  2. Check on weather forecasts and flood warnings regularly
  3. Move important documents and valuable items such as photographs to a higher place in your house, ideally upstairs.
  4. Check that you have sufficient insurance to cover your home and vehicle.
  5. Avoid walking or driving through flood water as 15cm can cause an adult to fall and 60cm can wash a car away.

Where to get more information and advice on flooding

  • Natural Resources Wales are the primary source of information on flooding in Wales. They are responsible for sending out flood warnings and alerts as well as implementing ways to reduce flooding.
  • Public Health Wales has information on how flooding can affect physical or mental health, in the short or longer term.
  • Know Your Flood Risk has good information about how to clean up after a flood
  • Property Flood Resilience Handbook – practical steps that people can take to reduce the impact of flooding on their homes or businesses
  • National Flood Forum is a charity that gives advice and support to flood risk communities.
  • The Food Standards Agency has advice on food safety after a flood.
  • Flood Guidance has more information on flood guidance for household and businesses.
  • Met Office Can provide advice on protecting your property and reacting to a flood risk.
  • The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 aims to provide better flood risk management to people, homes and businesses to help safeguard community groups from flooding.
  • Sign up for flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales.
  • Check weather forecasts from the Met Office and flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales.
  • Consider buying a water butt to store rainwater. Not only is this good for watering your garden or washing your car during dry weather, but if emptied before a heavy rain forecast, it means that it will reduce local surface water and the amount reaching rivers, which may help to reduce flooding.
  • Keep up to date with weather forecasts and flood warnings.
  • Move vehicles out of areas which could be flooded.
  • Fill the bath with water, in case you lose a clean water supply during a flood.
  • Move important documents and valuable items such as photographs to a higher place in your house, ideally upstairs.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours and relatives to help them to prepare.
  • Weigh down any manhole covers in or near your home.
  • Fit any flood protection to your property.
  • Clear drains and gullies of leaves.
  • Check flood warnings on local news websites and listen to local radio stations for updates.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water as 15cm can cause an adult to fall and 60cm can wash a car away.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, move upstairs in your home away from flood water, take pets and plenty of supplies with you.
  • If you become trapped, remain near a window where you can be seen.
  • Turn off water, gas and electricity supplies as soon as flood water enters your property.
  • Flood water can contain sewage and sharp objects so avoid contact with flood water and wash your hands regularly. Do not allow children to play in flood water.
  • If you have to walk through flood water, wear waterproof clothes and be aware of sharp objects and open manhole covers.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from flood water.
  • Keep any open cuts or sores clean and prevent them being exposed to flood water. Wear waterproof plasters.
  • Flooding can be an anxious and stressful time. Take time to take care of yourself and seek professional help if needed. Disaster Action is a good starting point for guidance and advice.
  • Wait until the emergency services tell you that it is safe to return your home.
  • Flooding can cause structural damage and contamination, so take care when you return to your home (for more information about how to clean up your home safely after flooding see Know Your Flood Risk)
  • Do not switch on gas or electricity until it is checked by a professional.
  • If you notice a change in the colour, taste or smell of your tap water, stop using it and contact Welsh Water.
  • If you cannot stay in your home after the flood water has receded make sure you make your home secure by locking doors and windows.
  • Avoid eating food grown on an allotment or garden that has been flooded unless it has been cooked.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

On the move

Getting from A to B using your choice of transport can often be affected by delays from accidents, breakdowns or severe weather.  Some simple steps could help you avoid the worst of these situations:

  1. Keep up to date with weather forecasts and avoid travelling in severe weather
  2. Keep up to date with traffic and public transport information
  3. Ensure your vehicle is kept road worthy and in a safe condition (car, bicycle)
  4. Avoid flooded roadways, water can be a lot deeper than it looks.
  5. Plan your route in advance and carry a fully charged mobile phone, some cash and tell someone where you are going.
  6. Ensure you and your vehicle are visible to other road users. Check and clean lights on vehicles and wear bright colours or reflective clothing if you are walking or cycling.
  7. Remain vigilant on public transport. See it, Say it, Sort it is a campaign by the British Transport Police to encourage passengers to report any unusual items or activity on railways stations or trains.

Cardiff Council has further advice on road safety for all types of road users and pedestrians.

The Met Office has great travel advice in adverse weather, whether driving, cycling, walking, or using public transport.

The AA and RAC have advice on how to keep your car roadworthy and answers frequent car related problems.

Think! has good information about staying safe as a driver or cyclist.

  • Check weather forecasts and do not travel in severe weather unless essential.
  • Ensure you keep your vehicle in a road worthy and safe condition.


  • Oil, water, brake fluid and coolant levels and top up if necessary.
  • Tyre pressures.
  • General condition and tread depth of your tyres.
  • Car battery.
  • Lights all work and keep them clean.


Create a car kit and put it in your car:


  • First aid kit
  • Road atlas
  • Waterproof coat
  • Snacks and water
  • Torch
  • Sleeping bag
  • Spare tyre and/or tyre puncture kit
  • Walking shoes or sturdy boots
  • Fully charged mobile
  • Reflective triangle or high visibility jacket

Especially for Winter

  • Brush
  • Shovel
  • Warm clothes and coat, hat, gloves etc
  • Tire chains
  • Windscreen scraper
  • Hot flask with a hot drink

You may also want to consider:

  • Jump leads
  • Sunglasses
  • Plastic bags (bin bags)
  • Newspaper for insulation
  • Small tools
  • Spare bulbs for car lights
  • During severe weather, only travel when essential.
  • Avoid flooded roadways, water can be a lot deeper than it looks.
  • Avoid hydroplaning – which occurs when the water in front of your tyres builds up faster than your car’s weight can push it out of the way. This could cause the vehicle to skid. If you do start to skid ease your foot off the accelerator until the car slows and you can feel the road again, do not brake or turn suddenly.

If you are planning to travel abroad, these are some useful websites to look at:

  • Foreign Commonwealth Office Travel Advice Take time to understand the risks and rules of the country you are visiting before you go.
  • Drink Aware Alcohol served abroad can be a lot stronger than in the UK and you are in an unfamiliar place, its good to have fun but be aware of the risks.
  • HM Government all the information you could need to prepare for traveling abroad.
  • British Embassies a list of all the British Embassies globally, make note of the location of the embassy in the country you are visiting.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

Severe Weather

Severe weather can take the form of storms and strong winds, or extreme hot or cold weather. These conditions can cause significant travel disruption and serious impacts to your health.

Severe weather is likely to be more common in the near future due to climate change, so taking the time to prepare now will help you and your family to stay safe in severe weather.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

Pandemic Events

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest Updates from Public Health Wales

Public Health Wales is working closely with the Welsh Government and the other UK public health agencies to carefully monitor the Coronavirus situation and implement a planned response, with measures in place to protect the health of the public.

Public Health Wales Coronavirus Advice Page

UK Government Coronavirus Advice Page

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as Novel Coronavirus. These include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and do not attend work or school
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the bin, and then wash your hands immediately
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Advice Posters for the Public and Businesses

World Health Organisation – Coronavirus COVID-19 Page

On this website you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Useful resources include:



Pandemic Influenza (Flu)

Pandemic Influenza (Flu) is different to seasonal flu as it is a new flu virus that most people will not be immune to. This means that it spreads very quickly infecting large numbers of people. Flu can be transmitted through the air and physical contact with an infected person.

Flu can affect everyone, especially the elderly, sick and very young and can have serious health consequences. To reduce your risk of getting flu, there are some simple steps you can take.

  1. Consider getting the flu vaccination
  2. Avoid contact with those that have the flu
  3. Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap or hand sanitiser
  4. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  5. Watch out for and follow advice when issued

Before an outbreak of pandemic flu

  • Consider getting the flu vaccination, you can get this at your GP surgery or local pharmacy
  • Try to keep fit and healthy and eat a balanced diet
  • Make sure all your vaccinations are up to date
  • Avoid contact with those that have the flu
  • Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap or if not available use hand sanitiser
  • Clean surfaces, such as telephones, key boards and door handles regularly to get rid of germs
  • Ensure that you have a continuous supply of prescription drugs in your home in case you cannot go out to collect them.
  • Consider what you would do for child care if your children’s nursery or school was closed to prevent the spread of flu.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose, unless you have recently cleaned your hands

During an outbreak

  • Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • Avoid contact with those that have the flu
  • Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap or hand sanitiser
  • Have a flu friend, someone who can collect food and mediation for you so can be isolated from the public and prevent it spreading
  • Keep a stock of over the counter cold and flu medication
  • Antibiotics will not have any effect on flu as it is a virus and antibiotics only kill bacteria
  • Watch out for and follow advice when issued

Further Information

To find out more about infectious diseases like flu, see the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

Spills or Environmental Pollution

Spills could come from:

  • A factory e.g. a chemical leak
  • A leak from a boat e.g. oil spill
  • A tanker involved in an accident on the road and emptying its contents in to water courses.

In most situations the emergency services will handle the incident and you will not be affected. However if you are at the scene of a spill or leak, there are some simple steps that you can take to keep yourself and others safe.

  1. Evacuate the area
  2. Do not touch the spill or chemical
  3. Call the emergency services
  4. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have come in to contact with the substance or feel unwell.
  5. Cooperate with the emergency services.


Call Natural Resources Wales to report an environmental incident or spill

In the event of a spill

  • If the spill is indoors, try to get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area. If this is not possible move as far away from the spill as possible and shelter in place.
  • Stay away from any victims until the spill has been identified, it may be hazardous.
  • Do not use the area until it is declared safe

After a spill or environmental pollution

  • Do not leave your safe area until you are told it is safe to do so by the emergency services
  • Follow all instructions and advice from the emergency services, including instructions for decontamination if necessary.
  • Do not scavenge cargo which has been washed up from accidents or spills at sea as it could be a health risk.

Marine Management Organisation has more information on how marine spills are handled

The Health and Safety Executive has more detailed information on emergency response to spills

Any sites in the UK handling potentially hazardous substances have to develop a Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH) plan. This ensures that these sites do everything possible to prevent major accidents and if they do happen the site has the correct procedures in place to handle the situation.  You can read more about COMAH regulations on the Health and Safety Executive website.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)


Current UK Threat Levels – SUBSTANTIAL

Terrorists try to create fear to disrupt people from their ordinary lives and businesses and this is not acceptable. To help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack, there are 5 easy things you can do:

  1. Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the anti-terrorism hotline. This short film shows you what to look out for.
  2. In an emergency, or if you need urgent police assistance, you should always dial 999. You can also report suspicious activity by contacting the police in confidence on 0800 789 321. This service is monitored 24 hours a day.
  3. If you are caught up in a terrorist attack remember to RUN, HIDE, TELL
  4. Learn more through free Act Awareness E-Learning. Continue your journey learning about the best practices to help counter terrorism and increase your security awareness.
  5. See, Check and Notify (SCaN): free training at aims to help businesses and organisations maximise safety and security using their existing resources. Your people are your biggest advantage in preventing and tackling a range of threats, including criminal activity, unlawful protest and terrorism.


Protect UK is part of the Counter Terrorism Alliance*, a partnership that brings together the knowledge of policing, the private sector and public sector to counter terrorism. The sharing of information and knowledge has been at the core of the work being done, focusing on utilising experience and research to discover innovative approaches to better inform businesses and the public on the threats involved, and how to protect against them.

*Comprised of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), Home Office and Pool Reinsurance.

Counter Terrorism Policing – Working to keep people safe from terrorism

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure – CPNI’s role is to protect UK national security by helping to reduce the vulnerability of the UK to a variety of threats such as Terrorism, Espionage and Sabotage.

999 - Emergency Services

101 - Non emergency (Police)

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