Sussex booklet to help prepare for emergencies

A NEW community information booklet produced by the Sussex Resilience Forum aims to help local residents and businesses be better prepared for emergencies.

The release of the booklet is supported by the launch of the new Sussex Resilience Forum website at www.sussexemergency.info

Information on emergencies such as severe weather, flooding, animal disease, pandemic flu and fuel shortages are all included, alongside other Sussex-specific risks, with very clear and straightforward advice on the things people can do in their own homes and businesses to prepare for major incidents.

The booklet and website suggest simple, but easily overlooked, precautions people can take including putting together an ‘emergency kit’ in case they should need to leave their home suddenly, advice on how and when to switch off the utilities in their home and the importance of tuning into local radio for news updates.  

Assistant Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney of Sussex Police, who chairs the Sussex Resilience Forum, said: “Thankfully, major incidents are rare in Sussex. While we can’t predict when emergencies are going to occur, what we can all do is take more responsibility for preparing ourselves for potential situations. 

“The aim of producing this booklet is to raise awareness of what the risks are in Sussex and highlight the simple things people can do so they are better prepared to protect themselves, their families, homes and businesses in the event of an emergency.”   

The booklet and website will also give everybody living and working in Sussex a better understanding of their local Resilience Forum and an insight into how emergency services, local authorities and other organisations are working together to develop robust plans and systems for responding to local emergencies.

Martin Funnell MBE, Emergency Planner for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service who was involved in the creation of the booklet, added: “Fortunately we aren’t talking about earthquakes and tsunamis here, but we know from experience that localised incidents like flooding or extreme weather can have a very serious impact on the Sussex community.

“This new booklet and website are a way for us to help local people help themselves, as well as give them the confidence of knowing that all our partner agencies are working hard behind the scenes to mitigate those risks and ensure there are tried and tested support systems in place in times of crisis.” 

The Community Information booklet is available at libraries, council offices, schools and other public buildings across Sussex or you can visit the Sussex Resilience Forum website at www.sussexemergency.info

The Sussex Resilience Forum was formed in 2005 in response to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. It is a partnership that brings together all the organisations required to prepare for and respond to any major emergency within Sussex.

Partners include the emergency services, local authorities, National Health Service, the Environment Agency and other organisations who all work together to identify risks to the local community and ensure that plans and processes are in place to provide a safe, effective and co-ordinated multi-agency response should a major emergency occur in Sussex.