Situational awareness: Water survival guidance for people in buildings

Control Measure Knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with:

When gathering information people should not be asked to put themselves at additional risk, for example by entering water.

There are several factors that may affect the advice given to people who are trapped by water in a building. These include:

  • The condition and structure of the building, for example:
    • Hoarding
    • Number of floors
    • If it is under construction or demolition
  • The water conditions affecting the property, for example:
    • Whether the water has entered the property
    • Water levels inside and outside the property
  • Where the water is coming from
  • Condition of gas and electrical installations and appliances in the property, for example:
    • Sockets and switches are submerged in water
    • Buoyant appliances in the water
    • Whether power supplies have been isolated
    • Signs of damaged electrical installations, including smoke or arcing
    • Power cut affecting the building
  • Emergency planning group flood plans

Widespread flooding is likely to attract a multi-agency response and trigger emergency planning group flood plans. Emergency planning groups include:

  • Local resilience forums (LRFs) in England
  • LRFs or Resilience Forum in Wales
  • Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRPs) in Scotland
  • Emergency Preparedness Groups (EPGs) in Northern Ireland

If flood plans have been triggered, the plans and decisions made by emergency planning groups may dictate the advice fire control personnel pass to people at risk, as well as the communication links between agencies.

Updates from the tactical co-ordinating group (TCG) will provide up to date advice and communications strategies to be adhered to and amended as required.

There may be occasions when additional information received from weather, flood, river or tidal reports, emergency planning groups, operational personnel and other responding agencies means that the advice given needs to be amended. In these situations, people should be recontacted, and the change of advice passed onto them. When recontacting people at risk, any multi-agency or emergency planning group communication plans should be adhered to.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions