What to do in an emergency

Emergency Planning LogoEmergencies can vary enormously, from an incident just involving one household, for example burst pipes in the loft through to emergencies affecting whole communities.

Below is a list of useful contacts but in certain circumstances you may be asked to leave your home by the emergency services. In these instances, please take with you any medication, a list of important contacts, your keys, mobile phone, cash and any credit cards.

Depending on the emergency you may need to turn off your electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows. When returning home open all windows to let in fresh air before reconnecting gas and electricity.

Help in an emergency

  • Emergency services 999 (if life is at risk)
  • NHS - dial 111
  • Hampshire Constabulary (non emergency) 101
  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue (non emergency) 02380 644 000
  • North Hampshire Hospital (accident and emergency department) 01256 473202
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (24 hours a day) 01256 844844
  • Hampshire County Council, Hants Direct (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 4pm) 0845 603 5638
  • Environment Agency Floodline 0345 988 1188
  • National Flood Forum (for flood defence advice) 01299 403 055
  • Gas leaks 0800 111 999
  • Electricity 105

Your local water company

  • Thames Water (covering the Tadley area) 0845 9200 800
  • South East Water (covering Basingstoke town area) Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm 0845 301 0845; Out of hours emergency 0845 602 1724
  • Southern Water (covering Kingsclere, Overton, Whitchurch and Woodhay) Daytime 0333 000 0002; Out of hours 0333 000 0365

Drainage problems

  • Thames Water (covering Tadley and Basingstoke town centre) 0845 9200 800
  • Southern Water (covering anything west of Basingstoke town centre) 0845 278 0845

Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

West Berkshire is home to two Atomic Weapons Establishments (AWE) sites, located in Aldermaston and Burghfield. Both sites are managed by AWE PLC.

West Berkshire Council is responsible for producing an off-site plan to comply with Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR). A public information leaflet which explains what to do in the event of an incident at AWE can be downloaded below.

Further information can be found on the West Berkshire Council website.

The role of the borough council

Our role in a major incident is to support the emergency services and then to help return life to normal as soon as possible.

To achieve this we will:

  • Respond to requests from the emergency services to assist in response to major incidents
  • Mobilise our staff to carry out tasks requests by the emergency services. Depending on the scale and type of incident, this may include:
    • establishing an Emergency Control Centre to co-ordinate our response;
    • setting up rest centres to provide transport, shelter, food and information to people evacuated from the vicinity of a major incident;
    • providing advice on the temporary re-housing of people who are unable to return to their homes;
    • specialist advice to the public on matters such as public health and structural stability of buildings;
    • providing information to the public and the media;
    • supplying sandbags in flooding incidents;
    • assisting in cleaning up the area affected by a major incident.
  • Co-ordinate our response with Hampshire County Council, other local authorities, town and parish councils and the voluntary sector;
  • As far as possible, keep our everyday council services running despite diversion of staff and other resources to handling of the incident;
  • Take a leading role in helping the community to recover and to return life to normal.

We have a mutual aid protocol with other local authorities across Hampshire to assist one another in responding to a major incident. This allows us to 'borrow' staff and equipment from other authorities, particularly if we are faced with a prolonged emergency. However, it is important to recognise that the council is not a 24/7 organisation like the emergency services.

Useful things to do before an emergency

Make a list of important contact details for example family, friends, neighbours, GP, veterinary surgery, public utility companies.


  • how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies
  • how to tune your radio to local stations
  • how your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency
  • how to make up an emergency pack
  • the emergency procedures for your children at school

If you are at home when an emergency happens, get together the following:

  • the list of your important contact details
  • home and car keys
  • cash and credit cards
  • mobile phone
  • battery radio - with spare batteries
  • torch - with spare batteries, candles and matches
  • first aid kit
  • toiletries and any regularly prescribed medication

It is useful to have bottled water, ready to eat food and a bottle/tin opener in the event you are required to remain in your home for several days.

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