Council’s ‘sinister’ advice to keep evacuation bag at home scares people

A local authorities advice for British people to keep an emergency "grab bag" at home has faced criticism online.

There are a number of key items we all make sure to leave the home with – including keys, wallet, phone and face mask.

But according to a national safety campaign, we could all be doing much better.

As part of a national safety awareness campaign, Brits have been advised to keep a bag packed with a first aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch.

The ill-timed tweet comes just hours ahead of Prof Chris Whitty updating the nation on coronavirus restrictions, following a rise in cases.

In a televised briefing at 11am, the chief medical officer for England is set to warn people that the country faces a "very challenging winter", with the current trend heading in "the wrong direction".

Naturally, a tweet informing people about the need to pack bags in case of an emergency stirred up concern online.

The Wandsworth Council account wrote: "A #GrabBag is a bag full of emergency items in case you need to flee your home immediately without time to pack.

"Some of the items that are suggested for the bag include a first aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch."

Many criticised the tweet with one person replying: "Am I the only one finding #GrabBag sinister?????"

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine added: "What are you not telling us, Wandsworth Council?"

A third person blasted: "I think with the current situation you should not be putting this message out sick of all the scaremongering people are waking up to all the c*** people with anxiety and mental health problems turn to social media for support they don’t want to be reading this c***."

Following hundreds of comments, Wandsworth Council apologised for causing any alarm.

One person responded: "Great idea but perhaps could have read the room and considered the anxiety this could cause some. Could have been worded a bit better."

The local authority replied: "Agreed. We're sorry to have caused alarm." 

One person took a more lighthearted approach, replying: "My emergency plan may differ depending on whether it be zombies, a volcanic eruption or hostile aliens, could you give us some emergencies that you had in mind?"

Another added: "Might be good idea that local authorities & services warn people that they will be tweeting about #30days30waysUK emergency grab bags and why they are doing it.

"I’d never heard of it and shocked me why I need to pack an emergency bag."

The annual advice – which has caused uproar before – is part of an annual Preparedness Month, which is being promoted by councils and emergency services across the UK.

It originated in the United States, following states being battered by storms and wildfires, and was run by the Department of Homeland Security.

It has been adopted by a number of local authorities and emergency services under the hashtag 30Days30WaysUK.

It refers to emergencies such as power cuts, water main bursts, gas leaks, fires, transport strikes and road closures, as well as major disasters.

On its website, it advises: "Taking proactive steps to be better prepared will help you not only with everyday emergencies but also with far less likely incidents."

Source: Read Full Article