Being a carer can be difficult, but it can be extra hard if something unexpected happens, either to you or the person you are caring for. What happens if their health condition deteriorates? What happens if you are unwell yourself and unable to care?

Planning ahead can help you manage these changes by being prepared and knowing what to do and, if necessary, who to ask for help. This is why we are encouraging all adult carers caring for someone aged 18+ to make an Emergency Plan.

If you have an Emergency Plan in place, you and the person you care for will find it easier to get the extra support you need quickly. You’ll get help not only with the crisis or emergency but also helping you to carry on going to work (if you are in employment), volunteering, meet with your friends, look after your own health and emotional wellbeing.

The plan works best if it involves everyone who would normally support you and your family and we can help with this.

Having a plan in place can reduce the worry for you, the person you care for and your family. We can help you make a plan and form your support network.

When you are ready to write your Emergency Plan contact our Advice Line on 0800 083 1148.

You can also visit Norfolk County Council’s website to sign up for an emergency card.

Norfolk County Council Swift Response Service

Norfolk County Council operates a 24-hour countywide Norfolk Swift Response Service. This service is for people who are over 18, living at home.

This 24-hour service provides help, support and reassurance if someone has an urgent, unplanned need at home but doesn’t need the emergency services. So for example, if a partner or carer is suddenly admitted to hospital, the Swift Response team can assist them with getting up, washing and dressing. Or if someone has a fall but are not seriously injured, the team can bring special lifting equipment to help make moving as safe as possible for the person. This is a free service for people living in Norfolk.

A short information card is available to download at

A more detailed information sheet can be downloaded at

Other emergencies to plan for

There are other emergencies you might need to think about, for example, power cuts, water supply issues and equipment breakdown.

Risk to life

For all emergencies where there is a risk to life always dial 999 for an emergency response. If there is a fire in your home, have you thought about an evacuation plan?

Make a plan and share it with the person you care for.

Water supply

You can get extra support for issues with your water supply if you register with Anglian Water’s ‘Priority Services Register’. Call 0345 791 9155 or visit

It is free to sign up to Anglian Water’s Priority Services Register and you can stay on it for as long as you like.

Once you are registered, Anglian Water will:

  • Inform you of any supply interruptions
  • Help you with meter readings
  • Help protect you against scams and bogus callers
  • Send bills in accessible formats.

As a carer, you can also be added to their nominee scheme, so you can manage your family members or friend’s account for them. Anglian Water will get in touch with you directly to let you know about any interruptions to their water supply, and work with you to get them the help they need.

Anglian Water can also help you with discounted tariffs, assistance schemes and affordable payment plans especially if you are:

  • Going through life changes
  • If you need to use vital medical equipment
  • If you’re an expectant mother, or have a baby under 12 months old
  • If you have restricted mobility or a disability
  • If you have a serious or long-term illness
  • If you need mental health support.

Power cuts

You can receive extra support during a power cut if you register on the UK Power Networks’ Priority Services Register. You can call 0800 169 9970 or go to priority-services-register.

You can receive extra support if:

  • You rely on medical equipment
  • You have refrigerated medicines
  • You have a serious or chronic illness
  • You have a disability
  • You or someone you care for is living with dementia
  • You are of pensionable age
  • You have children under five in your household.

Equipment breakdown

Do you have equipment provided from the hospital, social care, occupational therapist or that you have bought privately from NRS Healthcare? If you have then it is worth knowing there is a 24/7 team of technicians and engineers who can respond if your equipment breaks down.

You can call them on 0345 121 3456 or visit

The Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme used by most police forces and encourages carers to put together useful information which could be used if a vulnerable person goes missing.

Carers complete the form in advance, recording all vital details, including medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, and a photograph. If the person you care for goes missing, the form can be easily handed to the police to reduce the time taken gathering this information.


Lions Message in a Bottle scheme

The Lions Message in a Bottle scheme is a simple idea to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge. It is focused on the more vulnerable people in our communities, but this scheme can benefit anyone.