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Preparing for an emergency

In an emergency it can be difficult to think clearly. Time is precious. Preparing yourself and your child can help when an emergency happens.

Ways you can prepare for an emergency include:

  • Learn the emergency numbers 112 and 999 - teach them to your child, if you have children.
  • Be able to give the ambulance service your full address and clear directions to your home.
  • Learn your Eircode.
  • Keep your Eircode visible in a place in your home where all your family know where it is.
  • Have useful phone numbers to hand - keep your phone number on it so that others can find it easily.
  • Teach your child what to do in an emergency and where they can find your phone number, directions and Eircode.
  • Do CPR and first aid training.
  • Have a first aid app on your phone.

Directions to your home

Clear directions to your address and your Eircode can help an ambulance crew find you faster.

Make a list of easy to follow directions to your home and your Eircode. Put them in a visible place.

Put your Eircode first. Then, list the directions to your home.

Find your Eircode

List of useful numbers

Have important phone numbers and your Eircode to hand for an emergency. Save them in your phone. Write them in a prominent place in your home.

If you have children, make sure anyone who looks after your child has them too.

In the event of an emergency, call an ambulance on 112 or 999 - write and highlight this information at the top of the list of numbers.

Your list of useful numbers include:

  • 112 and 999 emergency numbers - 112 also works in all EU countries and from any phone, free of charge
  • your home's Eircode
  • your GP's number
  • your local GP Out of Hours Service
  • your nearest hospital emergency department that sees children
  • Poisons Information Line on 01 809 2166 - open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
  • your pharmacist or chemist
  • your mobile and work numbers
  • family members and neighbours

Teach your child what to do

Teach your child the 999 and 112 numbers, their home address and Eircode. They may be alone when an emergency occurs. They may need to act quickly.

You can rehearse emergency situations to help prepare them for real life events. Exercises should instill in the child a feeling of safety, not one of fear.

Put the numbers 999 and 112, your home address and Eircode in a place where your child can easily see it.

You should also explain to your child how to dial the number and when to use it. Make sure your child understands that 999 and 112 calls are only for emergencies.

CPR training

The Irish Heart Foundation offers certified training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

This includes training on how to give CPR to babies and children, as well as adults. 

Information from the Irish Heart Foundation on CPR courses for the general public.

CPR training is also available from:

Irish Red Cross- phone 1890 502 502
Order of Malta- phone 01 6430000
St John's Ambulance- phone 01 6688077

Baby and child first aid training

Training in how to give basic first aid to babies and children is  also available from:

  • Irish Red Cross
  • Order of Malta
  • St John's Ambulance

First aid apps

The Irish Red Cross has a free app for your phone called First Aid – IFRC

St John's Ambulance also has a free app available on iTunes and Google Play.

First aid kit

A first aid kit can help you deal with minor injuries. You should keep it locked and store it out of the reach of children.

Related topic

First aid kit for babies and children

Watch a video on making an emergency call and what to expect

Page last reviewed: 17/04/2019
Next review due: 17/04/2022