Emergency planning service

If you are experiencing an emergency that is an immediate and serious threat to life, property or the environment, call 999.


How would you prepare for an emergency? Government logo In a newly launched website, the government is encouraging people to think about what they would do if they and those around them were exposed to risks ranging from floods to fires to power cuts.

The website provides simple and effective steps people can take to be more prepared, at gov.uk/prepare . Taking action in advance will make it easier to manage an emergency if it does happen.

The site is designed for residents in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also provide advice for their residents.

A few simple things you could do now to prepare for emergencies

  1. Find out if you are eligible to sign up to your gas, electricity and water supplier’s Priority Service Registers, so they know that you need additional support, including when there is an interruption to your supply. Ask anyone you provide care for if they are registered.
  2. Set a reminder in your phone or make a note on your calendar to check your smoke alarms at least once a month. You can involve children in the monthly test too. 
  3. Write down important phone numbers on paper such as the number to report a power cut (105) and the numbers of anyone you might want to contact in an emergency. Use our downloadable and printable household emergency plan to record this information in one document. 
  4. Talk to your children about emergencies – teach them how and when to call 999 and what they should do if there’s an emergency, such as a fire at home. 
  5. Check your long term flood risk and sign up for flood and> weather warnings.

Examples of emergencies include:

  • flooding
  • storms
  • pollution
  • major road traffic incidents
  • acts of terrorism
  • pandemics

If you need to contact our emergency planning service, please call 01903 737922 (Monday to Thursday 8:45am to 5:15pm, 8:45am to 4:45pm on Fridays).

Or email michael.rowland@arun.gov.uk

If you need to contact us outside of our normal working hours, please call 01903 737500.

Avian influenza (bird flu)

Avian influenza (bird flu) main affects birds, but it can also affect humans and other mammals. You can read detailed information and guidance from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

Notifying Defra

Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. ‘Notifiable’ diseases are animal diseases that you’re legally obliged to report, even if you only suspect that an animal may be affected.

If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200301.

Failure to do so is an offence.

Dead birds

If you find 3 or more dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), gulls or birds of prey, or 5 or more dead birds of any species you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Read the Defra guidance for members of the public

How we can help in an emergency

Responding to emergencies

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 gave local authorities and certain other organisations the responsibility to respond to civil emergencies.

The Civil Contingencies Act defines an emergency as:

  • an event or situation that threatens serious damage to human welfare in the UK
  • an event or situation that threatens serious damage to the environment in the UK
  • war or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK

Working alongside other responding agencies we:

  • support the emergency (blue light) services
  • provide support and care for the wider community
  • use resources to mitigate the effects of an emergency
  • take a leading role for recovery for local incidents

These emergency response roles and responsibilities are generally an extension of our normal day to day activities and include:

  • communicating with other local authorities and organisations
  • assisting with warning and informing the public
  • deployment of officers to incidents to enable effective communications between ourselves and other responders at or near the scene
  • provide temporary accommodation for those made homeless due to an emergency
  • plan for response to local risks such as coastal flooding
  • respond to local coastal pollution incidents
  • organise the removal of waste after an incident
  • technical and engineering advice
  • environmental health advice and services
  • Building Control Services e.g. structural safety advice

Sussex Resilience Forum

Sussex Resilience Forum

We are part of a multi-agency partnership known as the Sussex Resilience Forum.

This partnership coordinates the implementation of the Civil Contingencies Act in Sussex. The agencies work together to prepare and respond to emergencies. The partnership produces a local risk register that identifies potential major risks for Sussex.

You can find more information, including how you can prepare for emergencies, on the Sussex Police website.

Emergency out of hours contact numbers

For the police, fire service or medical emergencies, call 999.

For non-emergencies, you can call the police on 101 and get medical advice by calling 111.

An emergency is something that needs to be attended to quickly because it is a danger to health or safety. Out of hours, we will strictly only be able to attend to emergencies that fall under these criteria.

Our office hours are 8:45am to 5:15pm Monday to Thursday, 8:45am to 4:45pm on Fridays. This excludes bank holidays.

Please see below for contact details relating to:

Dangerous building or structure
Gas, Water, and electrical emergencies
Homelessness and housing
Noise problems
Social care

Dangerous building or structure

Information can be found on our dangerous structures page



We do not provide sandbags to protect private property. Occupiers have the responsibility for protecting their personal and commercial property from flooding; if they consider they are at risk of flooding they should purchase sandbags from builders’ merchants. Residents are encouraged to check the Environment Agency’s website to determine whether they are at risk of flooding and take early steps to protect their properties.

Suggested local sources of sandbags:

  • Travis Perkins - Pier Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5BB - 01903 713071
  • Jewson - Arndale Road, Littlehampton BN17 7GA - 01903 712600
  • Hawthorn Builders - 19 Hawthorn Road, Bognor Regis, PO21 2BW - 01243 841145
  • Covers - Station Yard, Bognor Regis, PO21 1BT - 01243 863100
  • Covers - Sussex House, Quarry Lane, Chichester, PO19 8PE - 01243 785141
  • Manhood Buildbase - 50 High Street Selsey, PO20 0RD - 01243 603322

Flooding at home

If your home is flooding now and you are in imminent danger, please phone 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.                        

Main river flooding

If you are concerned about flooding from a main river, contact the Environment Agency via their website or on 0345 988 1188 (24-hour service) or 0345 602 6340 (Type talk for the hard of hearing).

Water in cellars

Property owners are responsible for dealing with groundwater ingress into cellars.

Sewer flooding and fresh water pipe leaks

See Gas, Water, and electrical emergencies

Flooding on highways

Flooding on roads and highways is the responsibility of West Sussex County Council.

If you see a blocked drains contact West Sussex County Council Highways or report it on the West Sussex County Council - report a problem webpage: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem-with-a-road-or-pavement/

Watercourses and ditches

There are certain legal responsibilities and rights placed on land owners who have a watercourse that adjoins their land. This is known as "Riparian rights". For more information view the Environment agency - guidance for riverside owners webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/riverside-ownership-rights-and-responsibilities

If you see a blocked watercourse or ditch, contact the Environment Agency 0345 988 1188.

Floodwater run-off

For floodwater run-off from higher land and for waterlogged gardens, contact the individual land owner.

Preparedness and other advice

Information about preparing for, responding to, and recovering from flooding is available at:

Gas, Water, and electrical emergencies


Contact the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 if you smell gas.


The Arun district is served by two water companies:

  • Southern Water – Tel: 0330 303 0368
  • Portsmouth Water – Tel: 023 9247 7999

To check your supplier go to: https://www.water.org.uk/advice-for-customers/find-your-supplier/

Contact you supplier if you and your neighbours are experiencing a loss of supply. They also are responsible for water main bursts, overflowing/blocked drains and shared drains whether council or private.                        


The Arun District is served by two electricity distribution operators:

  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks – Tel: 0800 072 7282 or 105
  • UK Power Networks – Tel: 0800 316 3105  or  105

To check your supplier go to: https://www.energynetworks.org/operating-the-networks/whos-my-network-operator

Contact your electricity distribution operator if you have been affected by a power cut.                        


To report a problem with a road or pavement contact West Sussex County Council: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/

Homelessness and housing

Please see our housing pages.

Noise problems

Please see our noise pollution page.

Social care

For social care support and public health in West Sussex contact West Sussex County Council.


Please see our dangerous trees page.