What to do in a crisis or emergency

If you, your family or your home are affected by a crisis such as civil unrest or major flooding, there are a number of organisations that can help. They can work to resolve the immediate problem and give support and guidance afterwards to help you and your community overcome the effects of the crisis.

What should I do in a crisis?

In any emergency situation, you must make sure you and your family are not in any physical danger. If you are, you should contact the relevant emergency service immediately.  For example, The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service would be best placed to respond to a fire in your home.

Organisations That Can Help

The list below gives some information about the organisations that are available to respond and what they do.


Co-ordinate all response activities. Process casualty information and identify people affected.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)


Primary function is to extinguish fires and save life.

NI Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS)


Immediate medical treatment. Movement of injured to hospital.

N.I. Ambulance Service (NIAS)


Re-housing, on a temporary basis initially, those made homeless by incidents. Emergency repairs to dwellings.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)


Counselling & general welfare of those affected during and after the event. Opening of rest centres.


Roads Service, NI Water and flooding related issues.


Supplementary support and care services. Would include Red Cross, St John Ambulance, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul etc.


Issue claim forms and offer guidance on losses.

Compensation Agency


Co-ordinate recovery activities. Rest centre provision.

Local councils

If your property is damaged by explosion

  • Tell us what the damage is - e.g. broken windows, doors damaged, roof.
  • If tiles have come off the roof but there is roofing felt under the tiles this will prevent water coming into the house.
  • If you can still live in the property, a contractor will call to carry out emergency repairs to make the house weather proof, i.e, they will board up windows and doors.
  • If you can't live in the property, contact your local office, or for homeless out-of-hours help contact us on 03448 920 908. Make sure you give us alternative contact details.

What do to after a crisis

  • When you have been advised that no physical danger exists after a major incident, you can return to your home. You should check the state of your home and whether or not it is suitable to live in.
  • If it is not suitable to live in, there may be options for temporary accommodation in rest centres set up by your health trust/district council. The Housing Executive may provide temporary accommodation if it is available.
  • You may wish to stay with family or friends until you can return to your home.
  • If you decide to leave your home to go to accommodation you have organised yourself you should advise the PSNI, health trust, Housing Executive or district council. You should give a contact address and telephone number.
  • After an incident, if you or a family member is suffering from stress or anxiety you should contact your local health & social care trust. They will offer advice and assistance.

Further advice

If your home is damaged