After an Emergency

Once the immediate threat from an emergency is over our community and businesses will want to return to a state of normality as soon as is practicable. The incident may leave lasting reminders and normality may have to include the effects of the incident. Rochford District Council will do as much as possible to enable a speedy recovery but some responsibilities remain with you as individuals, especially where your family's health and property are concerned.

You may find the following useful in keeping you and your family safe:

  • be aware of new hazards and dangers created by the incident
  • do not try to do too much, set priorities and pace yourself
  • wear protective clothing suitable for the task in hand
  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and water regularly especially when working with floodwater
  • ensure you drink plenty of water, eat well and get plenty of rest
  • contact the local authority or emergency services if you see any hazards to health and safety, such as, damaged power lines; washed out roads, gas leaks, dead animals and chemical releases

Returning to a damaged home can be physically and mentally challenging the suggestions below may assist you on your return:

  • do not enter a property until told to do so by emergency services
  • call your insurance provider;
    • if possible take pictures of damage
    • keep records of any repair work and cleaning costs
    • beware bogus traders if in doubt contact trading standards
  • use caution at all times
  • use a torch until you are sure there are no leaks of gas or other flammable substances, turn the torch on before entering your home
  • if you smell gas or hear a hissing sound in the building leave immediately and call National Grid for assistance
  • if electrical appliances are wet or have possibly been in contact with water they need to be checked by a professional before use
  • open doors and windows to vent your property
  • check with your water supply company before using tap water as it may be contaminated

Coping with a major incident can be difficult, don't feel you have to cope without help and be aware of the signs that yourself or others may need help:

  • mood swings, crying easily, feeling depressed, sad, confused or hopeless
  • feeling guilt, self-doubt, and frustration
  • having limited attention span poor concentration and/or poor work performance
  • difficulty communicating thoughts
  • sleeping difficulties and unusual sleeping patterns
  • increased use of alcohol/drugs
  • headaches/stomach problems/cold or flu-like symptoms
  • reluctance to leave home, fear of crowds, strangers or being alone