10 Jun 2019

British Red Cross has published research based on findings from people with direct experience of major incidents and emergencies, including fire, flood and terror attacks.

The report, Ready for anything: Putting people at the heart of emergency response, looks at what people expect and need before, during and after a crisis hits. It draws on a survey of 5000 UK adults.

The report identifies four themes of need:

  • addressing immediate practical needs
  • communicating essential information
  • providing mental health and psychosocial support
  • helping people rebuild lives with access to advocacy, advice and ongoing support

Within Wales, the report shows that the support most people would want following an emergency would be access to emergency items (54%), followed by housing (53%) and more information about the situation (48%). 17% of people would like to receive emotional support, while 30% would like signposting to relevant advice and advocacy services. 24% believe they are likely to be affected at some point by an emergency.

Cathrin Manning, Red Cross Policy and Public Affairs Officer - Wales, said: 'While we can never fully mitigate all the negative impacts of a major incident, we can ensure our communities, families and friends are more resilient, better prepared and support each other when it happens.  We are committed to convening and collaborating with all partners from across sectors involved in responding to emergencies, to share insights and develop policy and practice recommendations based on the findings set out in this report. And to drive the agenda forwards with those who have the power to make a difference.'

The Red Cross offers advice on emotional support, available here.