A south London council has apologised for scaring social media users after sharing advice warning people to make plans for a potential evacuation.
Some of the items suggested for the “grab-and-go” bag included a first-aid kit, batteries, a whistle and a torch.
The notice sparked a backlash from members of the public, who complained about a lack of context for the post, which some felt could cause additional distress in a time of uncertainty.
The council later clarified: “Don’t worry, we’re not trying to scare you."
It explained that the picture was part of its contribution to an annual nationwide campaign, #30days30waysUK, which aims to help households and communities prepare for environmental risks.
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Dozens of local councils, as well as other institutions, have also signed up to the campaign, and some tweeted similar messages over the weekend.
The council replied to a comment from one Twitter user, who wrote: “Great idea but perhaps could have read the room and considered the anxiety this could cause some. Could have been worded a bit better.”
“Agreed. We’re sorry to have caused alarm,” its official account said.
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.”