Creating an Emergency Plan


Nobody likes to think about accidents and emergencies happening, and some people might even worry that planning for emergencies makes them happen. But, in the words of John F. Kennedy, “the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. Planning ahead can bring peace of mind and help to live life to its fullest knowing you have that safety net already in place.



What is emergency planning? Why should I know about it?


For carers, it offers reassurance that in the unlikely event of an emergency, if something were to happen to you a plan is in place for the person you usually care for. So that someone can step in and help look after the person you usually care for, you will need to share some information with them. Your emergency plan sets out the care process for the adult and/or child that you support. It makes provisions for occasions when you are unable to care for them, and it sets out the practical arrangements for short-term, unplanned periods.


Having a plan in place can stop an emergency from becoming a crisis and can give you and the person you care for peace of mind. It also helps you to think about the people in your life that can help with caring in your absence.


To help get you started, here are our top tips for creating an emergency plan and using the resources on offer via the Lambeth Carers Card.


By following the tips below you can have a clear plan of what were to happen to the person you care for and who can help.



Decide who is your emergency contact

The first step is to identify the people in your life, who could take over caring in your absence. This could be a friend, family member or neighbour, who would be able to help out if something were to happen to you. Your emergency contact will have an important job on their hands, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your emergency contact should be someone trusted that knows you and the person you care for well and is available to be contacted

  • Who would the person you care for feel most comfortable with helping out? You could discuss with the person you care for “Who would be the best person to ask?”

  • It is worth having at least two emergency contacts, in case you cannot get through to one

  • If there is a young person providing care in your family or is one of your emergency contacts, make sure that their school knows about this

  • Is the person you want as an emergency contact willing and able to help? Discuss with them what it would be like to be your emergency contact


Fill out your Lambeth Carers Card

If you have an accident or need to go to the hospital, emergency services won’t be able to know you are a carer and someone depends on you. This is why we suggest that all carers sign up for the Lambeth Carers Card.


The Lambeth Carers Card allows you to add two emergency contacts and is an eye-catching card to identify you as a carer and flag that someone relies on you. We would advise that you keep the card in your purse or wallet in an easily accessible place, like where your debit card is.


After you’ve signed up for the Lambeth Carers Card, you will receive a welcome pack in the post, which includes a fridge flyer. This is a large sticker with space for two emergency contacts. This can be placed on your fridge where emergency services are trained to look for emergency information. Find out more about the Lambeth Carers Card here.


Gather what you have

Before you start to create your plan it might be worth gathering all the papers and information you already have. Think about what you already know and what you already have in place. For instance,

  • Do you know the team supporting the person you care for?

  • Where are their contact details?

  • Where is the medication and important information kept?


This will save you time later on. This will help you complete the plan without the need to get up and rummage for the information you need halfway through. Having the information to hand can also help to jog your memory about the important information that could go into your plan.


Complete an emergency plan

So that someone can step in and help look after the person you usually care for, you will need to share some information with them. Your emergency plan sets out the care process for the adult and/or child that you support. It makes provisions for occasions when you are unable to care for them, and it sets out the practical arrangements for short-term, unplanned periods.


Having a plan in place can stop an emergency from becoming a crisis and can give you and the person you care for peace of mind. It also helps you to think about the people in your life that can help with caring in your absence.


If you have signed up for the Lambeth Carers Card, you can find your emergency planning template in the welcome pack. You can use that template or you may prefer to create your own, with your own titles.


The titles that our plan covers are basic identification, the support needs of the person you care for (communication, mobility) and their medication and allergies. There is also space to add anything else that is important to know.


Things to consider when writing your plan;

  • Write a draft on a scrap piece of paper. It allows you to see what you're thinking and have a chance to organise your thoughts in a clear way.

  • Consider the unique needs of the person you care for and the essential points you want to get across. What would be helpful to someone stepping in and taking over from you!

  • Consider where everything is kept or if there are protocols for any specific health or care issues?


Share your plan with your emergency contact(s)

An emergency plan can only be effective if people know about it. You should think about who you would like to share the plan with and how. Whether this is by sharing a paper copy or if you have created one on your computer, sharing via email. The plan will contain sensitive information about the person you care for, so you should consider where the plan will be kept and make sure only that the relevant individuals know where the plan is stored in your home.


It is also important to ensure that all the details are up to date, especially medication and ongoing treatment. You may want to revisit the emergency plan if there is any change to your circumstances or the circumstances of the person you care for.


Use technology to help you plan for emergencies

While some people will prefer to keep important information on paper, others may find using technology quicker and simpler. Below are some examples of ways in which technology can help you prepare for an emergency.



Saving ICE (In Case of an Emergency) in your phone

Using ICE when saving your emergency contact in your mobile phone will enable emergency services to know who to contact quickly.


You can use ICE as a prefix or suffix or even the contact’s name. Either way, their contact number and information can be searched.


What to do if you lock your phone?


Many mobile phone manufacturers have provided a way for some text to be displayed across the screen when the mobile is locked. This is where you can add the details of your emergency contact.



Sign up for Jointly App, using the free access code from Lambeth Carers Card

The Jointly App was created by carers for carers, and designed to make caring a little easier, less stressful and more organised. It combines group messaging with other useful features including to-do and medication lists, a calendar and more. The app can be downloaded on your mobile phone, tablet or used on your computer as a web page.


With Jointly, you can create a circle of care for the person you are looking after and keep all information in one accessible place. This means if they ever needed to help out in an emergency, they could step in at short notice and use Jointly to see up to date information on the person you care for.



Complete the My Backup on the Carers UK Digital Resource

When thinking about emergencies, you might find it helpful to use My Backup. My Backup is an interactive tool on the Carers’ UK Digital Resources. It asks you questions about things you may have already done in your caring journey or questions you have not even thought about. This is a good starting point to what you could do for an emergency plan but also just to make your day to day life easier.


Some of the questions that are asked are:

  • Do you know if your local authority has an emergency scheme for carers?

  • Do you have a list of any key health services the person you care for uses with relevant professionals?

  • Has your GP registered you as a carer?

  • Have you thought about whether technology can help you or someone you care for?


Once you have completed the questions you are given a summary of things you can consider including links for further information.



How do you access this online support?


Once you sign up for the Lambeth Carers Card, you will receive a welcome email with the free access code for both Carers’ UK Digital Resources and the Jointly App.



  • Visit the Digital Resources website

  • Click ‘Create New Account’.

  • A new page will appear, complete the form adding in the Free Access Code

  • Press ‘Create my new account’ at the bottom.


  • Visit the Jointly App website

  • Click ‘Sign up’.

  • A new page will appear, complete this form

  • Press ‘Sign up’ again at the bottom.

  • Click ‘Create a new circle’ and select ‘Use Free Access Code’, enter the code and click ‘Redeem’


Now you have read this, what should you do?


If you haven’t already, sign up for the Lambeth Carers Card so you can receive your card and welcome pack. By signing up for Lambeth Carers Card you will also have access to Carers’ UK Digital Resources for Carers and will be able to attend Carers’ Hub Emergency Planning Sessions.


We know that life can be busy, try to dedicate some time to think about your plan. Carers’ lives are often so busy and consumed by the person(s) they care for that it can be challenging to find the time to do something for themselves, never mind planning for the future. However, planning helps you feel prepared and will help you feel less worried.


Please do get in touch if you would like any support creating your plan by calling 020 7501 8973 or emailing info@lambethcarerscard.org