Council causes panic by telling residents to prepare emergency 'grab bag'
22 September 2020, 10:52 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 10:57
Wandsworth council has advised people to 'be prepared' for all emergency situations.
A council has come under fire after sharing a tweet about preparing a ‘grab and go bag’.
The borough of Wandsworth in South West London took to their official Twitter account this week to tell residents what to pack in an ‘emergency bag’.
The photo showed a first aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch, along with the caption: “A #GrabBag is a bag full of emergency items in case you need to flee your home immediately without time to pack.”
But with fears of a second national lockdown, the campaign left Londoners feeling a little uneasy.
A #GrabBag is a bag full of emergency items in case you need to flee your home immediately without time to pack.— Wandsworth Council (@wandbc) September 20, 2020
Some of the items that are suggested for the bag include a first aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch. #30Days30WaysUK #HouseholdPreparedness pic.twitter.com/Hv276jc08r
One person replied: “Great idea but perhaps could have read the room and considered the anxiety this could cause some. Could have been worded a bit better.”
“I'm actually really irritated by this. Why would we need to flee our home in Wandsworth? What are you anticipating? What emergency plan? Care to elaborate?,” asked another.
A third added: “Under what circumstances do I need to flee my house and take a WHISTLE?”
But Wandsworth council were quick to reassure its followers, saying the tweet is all part of a national campaign to encourage members of the public to be prepared.
“Don't worry, we're not trying to scare you. This is part of our contribution to the #30days30waysUK campaign - a month-long national campaign,” they said.
Another Tweet clarified: “We're working with our Emergency Planning team to send out a tweet a day advising people how to be prepared in different situations.”
The #30days30waysUK campaign advises on taking 'proactive steps to be better prepared' for every day emergencies.
This could include anything from power cuts, burst water mains, gas leaks, transport strikes and road closures, to more unlikely situations such as storms, flooding and terror attacks.
Labour MP for Tooting Dr Rosena Allin-Khan also replied to one resident saying: “Think less ‘prepare for a zombie apocalypse’ and more ‘have you topped up your first aid kit recently?’”
A spokesman for Wandsworth Council told the Standard: "This is part of an annual national campaign, supported by many public bodies up and down the country, including councils, the NHS, police and fire services, and is aimed primarily at those in vulnerable situations who may need to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.
"This includes people living in a flood risk area, victims of domestic violence or those who may be affected by a gas leak or a power cut. This national campaign simply urges people to be prepared for sudden emergencies."