Wandsworth apologises over emergency ‘grab and go bag’ tweet

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}A south London council has apologised after a tweet advising people to prepare for emergency evacuation sparked an online backlash.

Wandsworth Council advised residents to prepare an emergency bag “in case you need to flee your home immediately” on social media on Sunday.

Hundreds of social media users demanded an explanation for the post.

“We’re sorry to have caused alarm,” the council said. The post was part of a national “Preparedness Month” campaign.

The council is taking part in #30days30waysUK, which aims “to build household and community preparedness and resilience”.

Dozens of councils are signed up to the campaign, some of which tweeted similar advice on Sunday.

Wandsworth Council advised packing a “grab and go” bag with a first aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch.

The post was accompanied by a picture of a backpack with the word “emergency” on it.

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‘Care to elaborate?’

Social media users branded the tweet “irresponsible”, creating unnecessary “alarm” and “anxiety”.

Tooting MP, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said “without any context” the tweet suggested “a zombie apocalypse is imminent”.

One social media user said: “Great idea but perhaps could have read the room and considered the anxiety this could cause some. Could have been worded a bit better.”

Another .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}wrote: “I’m actually really irritated by this. Why would we need to flee our home in Wandsworth? What are you anticipating? What emergency plan? Care to elaborate?”

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said: “This is part of an annual national campaign, supported by many public bodies up and down the country, including councils, the NHS, police and fire services, and is aimed primarily at those in vulnerable situations who may need to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.

“This includes people living in a flood risk area, victims of domestic violence or those who may be affected by a gas leak or a power cut.

“This national campaign simply urges people to be prepared for sudden emergencies.”

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