When someone relies on you being there, it is important to make a back-up plan for times when something unexpected happens or if you have to go away to hospital.

An Emergency Plan is a document to provide important details about the person you care for that can be used by someone else in the event that you cannot deliver that care yourself. Your emergency contacts will be people you trust to look after your loved one if you cannot. The plan ensures that whoever is called can provide the best support possible if you are unable to fulfil your caring role.  

Back-up support in the case of an emergency

In the event of an emergency, you may be able to arrange help and support from family and friends. The emergency planning process can help clarify who can help and how long for.  It can be reassuring to have the involvement of your local council  in case informal arrangements fall through.  The local authority can assist with providing advice and information and also complete a social care assessment for the person you care for.  If you would like to discuss this further please call the Council’s Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 023 8083 3003.  The assessment can be done any time of day or night.

Carers are now able to put their emergency plans on the Southampton City Council (SCC) database so that they are accessible to emergency services and adult social care if needed, even during outside of normal working hours.  You can choose which sections of the form you complete.  The form is available as an inline version where you complete the form via this website, print it and press send.   Click here to use the online form version. You can also complete a form that you can download and print here (click to view) and keep it at home/share with family and neighbours.  When you have filled it in you can then scan it and send the scanned document to the secure SCC email below:

[email protected]

We recommend that you get a message in a bottle for home and message in a wallet for when you are out and about. It would then be useful to make reference to your plan in the message in a bottle and wallet and say where the plan is at home and if it is available on the council's Paris database. The Lions scheme ones shown here (click here to view) can be found at many GP surgeries or chemists.  We keep a stock of the bottles in our office and you can download the wallet insert from our website here

What would you like the emergency services/hospital to know about your cared for if you were unwell? 

Carers who do not have access to the internet or scanning facilities may phone us to request a paper copy of the document.  You can send us the completed document to scan and email to SCC.

Updating your plan

Make sure you amend your plan and notify your emergency contacts if anything changes e.g. medication, family illness or change in medical contacts.

Medical Services

In some areas, your GP or district nurse might be able to arrange temporary nursing care at short notice to help your friend or family member. This is called a rapid response service. 

Emergency Services: Fire and Rescue

Have you considered what would happen in a household, community or environmental emergency?  It is important to register with your local emergency services so that they are aware of your special needs in a household e.g. use of oxygen, communication needs and physical disability that may make escape from a house difficult.  If you would like some home safety advice, please call the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service community safety team on: 023 8062 6751, weekdays 9am - 5pm.

Other advice to see:



Emergency Services: Medication and medical history

The Lions Club have created a handy Message in a Wallet in case of emergency.  You can fill in personal and medical details on a standard form that you can fill in and keep in your wallet.

The Lions Club Message In a Bottle scheme is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge.

The bottle is kept in the fridge, where the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to your home. They will know you have a bottle by the two labels displayed on the inside of the front door or on the main entrance to your home and the other is for the door of your fridge.

This scheme is free to the user. Whilst it is focused on the more vulnerable people in our community, anyone can fall downstairs, so this scheme can benefit anyone, including you.

As a minimum it will save the Emergency Services valuable time identifying you and your emergency contacts. By telling whether you have special medication or allergies or not, it is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to users and their friends and families.

Bottles are free of charge and can usually be found in your local Chemist or Doctors Surgeries.

Thanks to a number of other organisations, you may also find that you can obtain one through your nearest;

  • Neighbourhood Watch group
  • Age Concern
  • Council Offices
  • Housing Associations
  • and many other places including Police stations.

In Case of Emergency (ICE)

ICE (In Case of Emergency) is a way to help emergency staff identify fast who to contact. You can store the word ICE in your mobile phone address book with the number of the person you’d like people to contact, for example your back-up carer. If something happens to you, ambulance, police or hospital staff will look for the word ICE in your phone’s address book and call that person. If you have more than one emergency contact, you can list them ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Your phone may have a password protected lock preventing access your address book but you can put ICE information on your phone’s lock screen. Your phone instruction manual will have information about how to do this or you can visit Incaseofemergency.org.

Carer’s Allowance and emergencies

You can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks if you temporarily stop caring for someone because you’re ill or in hospital.

If you have any questions about Emergency Planning, please contact us on 023 8058 2387 or by email to [email protected].

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