Emergency groups prepare for inundation as guide hits press

The Red Cross and St John Ambulance are bracing themselves for a flood of inquiries following this week's distribution of anti-terrorist tips to every home in Britain.

Preparing for Emergencies - what you need to know offers guidance on prevention and planning for disasters. The 22-page booklet includes advice on coping with emergencies and basic first aid.

Both charities are anticipating a large number of calls from people interested in learning first aid skills.

The British Red Cross contributed to the first aid section of the booklet, which gives the organisation's contact details.

Martin Annis, emergency-planning officer for the British Red Cross, said: "If one per cent of the 25 million people it is distributed to look at the Red Cross website, and then one per cent of that figure decide to contact us, that's two and a half thousand people wanting to learn first aid skills."

The organisation has already put arrangements in place to train additional people. They may also direct callers to take courses run by St John Ambulance.

With the emergency booklet available in a variety of languages, St John Ambulance are using its publication as an opportunity to publicise their courses available to BME communities.

Chief executive Roger Holmes commented: "We are well equipped and ready."

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