Preparing for emergencies – a rebuttal

By on 11/03/2010 in News, Rebuttals

Stories in the press recently have suggested that Birmingham City Council is ordering citizens to buy “Hurricane Survival Kits” at a cost of £100.
This is misleading.

Steve Grogan, Head of the Birmingham Resilience Team, said:
“The council (through the nationally-respected multi-agency Birmingham Resilience Team) has for several years published a guidance document called Preparing for Emergencies in Birmingham.
“This booklet contains a host of useful, simple, hints and tips on what citizens can do to make sure they are as prepared as possible should they or their families ever face an unexpected incident.
“Almost all items recommended within the booklet are everyday items, already available in the home such as tinned food, can openers, candles and rubber gloves. Only one or two are more specialised but there is absolutely no suggestion that people must specially buy them.
“Reference was specifically made to “hurricane lamps” which were merely listed as an alternative to regular candles – not as something that should be mandatory in homes.
“Birmingham is a city that has good reason to be prepared, having faced the following crisis scenarios in the past five years:
– A tornado which caused £40million of damage
– Severe floods affecting hundreds of homes in various locations
– A city centre security evacuation
– The swine flu pandemic, which had its first major UK outbreak at a Birmingham primary school
“Finally, it must be noted that Birmingham was named by Reader’s Digest at the most prepared city in the UK in a 2007 report and that the local media has been fully supportive of the efforts to help citizens become more resilient, before the publication of last week’s misleading articles.”

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