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Look out for others

Remember some people may need more help than others

In an emergency, some people are more vulnerable than others - the elderly, very young or disabled, for instance. 

Always consider your family and yourself first. But it’s also important to help your friends and neighbours where you can. Just checking that they’re well, providing extra blankets, collecting supplies or even having a chat could make a world of difference.


Have 'emergency friends'

An easy way to prepare for emergencies is to identify ‘emergency friends’.

Emergency friends are people you trust who can provide help when you really need it.  You should identify at least one emergency friend who lives nearby and a second one who lives further away.

Here’s how emergency friends can help you: 

Woman sitting with older couple (Adobe stock image)
  • Holding a spare house key. You never know when you might lock yourself out, or your pets need feeding if you’re stranded away from home.

  • Providing a place to stay if you’re evacuated or your home’s affected by flood, fire or utility failure.

  • Looking after your children or picking them up from school.

  • Collecting medication.

  • Safeguarding copies of important documents or pictures.

  • Acting as a contact point for family members who may be separated in an emergency.​

Make sure all your family knows who your emergency friends are, and note them in your household emergency plan.

Don’t forget - you can be someone’s emergency friend, too. Have a chat to identify all the ways you can help each other.

Emergency information schemes


It can be vital to have medical and personal information accessible in an emergency.  There are various ways of doing this.  Here’s a couple:

  • Medical ID bracelets - available from retailers.

  • Message in a Bottle scheme - contact your local Lions Club for more information.

  • Storing your medical information on the emergency section of your mobile phone.

Free priority services register for vulnerable residents


Sometimes you, or someone you know, may need a bit of additional assistance, especially in the event of a water shortage or power outage. Water, gas and electricity companies offer a range of free priority services to help.

Get extra support when it is needed most by signing your utility company's free priority services register.

Who can receive extra support?

  • If you rely on medical equipment

  • If you have refrigerated medicines

  • If you have a serious or chronic illness

  • If you have a disability

  • If you or someone you care for is living with dementia

  • If you are of pensionable age

  • If you have children under five in your household

  • If you need extra support for a short time period (e.g. If you are recovering from medical treatment

For further information and to sign up to a priority services register visit your utility company's website.

Learn more about the priority services register and the free support available by watching this video

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