Household emergency kit

On this page you will find information on the kind of items and details that you should include within a household emergency kit.

What should be in an emergency kit

Should you experience an emergency it is important that you and your family or housemates have made preparations to take care of yourselves. Putting together an emergency kit is one such way to get prepared.

Below are just some of the items and details that you might wish to include in the emergency kit. This should be kept somewhere in the house where everyone can get to it if needed.

  • list of useful phone numbers – your doctor, close relatives, local council
  • battery  or wind up radio
  • battery or wind up torch
  • spare batteries
  • candles and matches
  • first aid kit
  • spare keys to your home and car
  • spare pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • spare charger for mobile phone
  • toiletries and sanitary supplies
  • special equipment for children and people with special needs

Other essential items

If you are at home and an emergency happens, try to gather some essential items before you leave your property. To make this easier to do you should always keep such items in the same place within the home.

This can  include:

  • any regularly prescribed medication
  • mobile phone 
  • cash and credit cards
  • spare clothes and blankets
  • bottled water
  • ready-to-eat food - for example tinned food
  • bottle or tin opener
  • copies of important documents - birth certificates, insurance policies
  • photographic identification

Your home and local area

To help you prepare effectively for emergencies you should also consider your local area and what type of emergencies may occur based on your location.

Things to consider can include:

  • is there a river or waterway nearby
  • are you living in a coastal position
  • do you live in a remote or elevated area
  • do you live near to an industrial facility
  • your location with regards to main arterial routes or railway lines
  • Check to see if you live in an area at risk of flooding

Family pets

Don't forget about your family pets in an emergency. Make sure to put some food in your kit for them and anything else they might need like a collar or lead, water bowl or medication.

First aid

Putting together a first aid kit is really important, not just for emergencies but for accidents that can happen around the home or at work.

You can buy a pre made kit or you can put one together for yourself. You’ll find a useful list of things to include on the nidirect first aid page. 

Learning first aid can help you to get prepared for an emergency situation. Some of the skills you can learn from first aid training include:

  • dealing with an emergency
  • how to do CPR and put someone in the recovery position
  • dealing with head injuries, severe bleeding, burns and broken or sprained bones
  • what do in cases of seizures, heart attacks or strokes
  • what to do if someone chokes, has a severe allergic reaction or a diabetic emergency

The Red Cross and St John Ambulance offer first aid training courses in Northern Ireland.

More information on emergency healthcare is available here.

Useful emergency contact numbers

Here's a handy contacts list that you can print out and keep in case of an emergency:

  • Police, fire and ambulance services 999 (101 for non-emergencies)
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive 03448 920 901
  • Northern Ireland Electricity 03457 643 643
  • NI Gas Emergency Service 0800 002 001
  • Northern Ireland Water Waterline 03457 440 088
  • Flooding Incident Line 0300 2000 100

Radio stations

  • BBC Radio Ulster  94.5FM
  • BBC Radio Foyle 93.1FM
  • Downtown Radio 1026AM
  • Cool FM 97.4FM
  • Q Radio 96.7FM
  • U105 105.8FM




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