Emergency Planning

Being prepared for an unplanned event is always a good idea. If you look after a friend or family member having a back-up plan is important if something should happen to you which means you are unable to provide the care you would do normally. 


We advise all carers to create a “What if..” plan which is a really useful document where you put all the information about your caring role in one place. Should you be unable to care for whatever reason, it’s clear exactly what needs to be done if somebody else needs to take over. 


Use your “What if..” plan to help in case of an emergency or unplanned event, such as a sudden illness or accident or travel disruption, for example car/bus broken down. 


Thinking ahead and creating a “What if..” plan or reviewing an existing plan can ease anxiety and give you a sense of control. 


Things to consider include:

- Details of the name and contact details of the person you look after

- Who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency – this might include friends, family or professionals.

- Details of any medication the person you look after is taking.

- Details of any ongoing treatment they need.

- Notes of any important information


Make sure that this information is printed and kept safely to-hand, should it ever be needed. Talk about and share the plan with the person you care for and those named as your emergency contacts.


The Herbert Protocol: additional support for those looking after someone with dementia who may wander



Essex Carers Emergency Card Scheme

In Essex, carers can also ask to join the Carers Emergency Card Scheme which is FREE and available to all unpaid carers. It is run by Essex Adult Social Care and will give you peace of mind that if anything happens to you, the person you care for will be contacted to check that their support needs are being met

How does it work?

Carers register with the scheme and provide information about the person they look after (for example, medication) and the names of people who can be contacted in the event of an emergency and who have keys to your home. This information is held by the Essex Adult Social Care Team. If anyone phones the number on the card to report that you are unable to continue your role, their staff will call your nominated contacts.

If you have nobody who could be contacted, or none of your nominees are available, an experienced advisor will assess the situation in line with the information you have provided and make arrangements for the person you care for. This could include a response from a range of services we can access, including services like Short Term Support in the Community, which is designed to meet immediate support requirements in the community. Response times will be based on assessed need at that point in time.

It is important that the individuals you may name as emergency contacts are aware and are also given a copy of this document.  

How can I join the scheme?

To join the scheme you must be registered as a carer in Essex. If you are not registered with us, please call our Carers Hub or register here and let us know you would like to sign up for the Emergency Card.

If you are already registered with us and would like to be contacted about the Emergency Card Scheme, please click here >>