Britons should have three days' worth of tinned food and water, government says

22 May 2024, 07:47 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 17:33

Wind-up torches, tinned meat and bottles of water are just some of the items the government are advising people to stock up on as it urges the public to prepare for emergencies.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has revealed a new website to advise people on how to protect themselves from various risks, including biosecurity crises, flooding, power outages or another pandemic.

The "Prepare" website calls on households to stock up on bottled water, with a minimum supply of three litres of drinking water per person per day, but says 10 litres is recommended for more comfortable levels, for cooking and hygiene.

People should, it suggests, also store non-perishable food that "doesn't need cooking" such as tinned meat, vegetables and fruit, as well as baby supplies and pet food if needed.

The website adds that a tin opener should be in the package, as well as battery or wind-up torches and radios, wet wipes and a first aid kit.

Mr Dowden says the measures are "about sensible safeguards, not stockpiling" and the website is there to offer "practical information for households to make those preparations" for threats listed on the government's national risk register.

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The deputy prime minister is speaking at the London Defence Conference on Wednesday where he will say "resilience begins at home", with a poll by the conference showing only 15% of people have an emergency supply kit in their homes, and more than 40% do not have three days' supplies of non-perishable items.

The new website is part of Mr Dowden's push to ensure the UK is more resilient to growing threats, ranging from natural disasters and water outages to conflicts.

Last year, he introduced a new emergency alert system so mobile phones get sent a loud alert sound if there is a risk to life in the area.

A government source said the new website is part of the "largest overhaul of resilience in decades", which will also involve new training for MPs and a new programme to model what would happen in another pandemic.

It will see thousands of people taking part in a tier one pandemic exercise next summer.

The government said the advice is not in response to an immediate crisis but is so people can be prepared so the government and emergency services can focus on those most in need first.