Northants County Council worker reveals on BBC Breakfast he keeps two emergency grab bags

Matthew Hoy, head of emergency planning, revealed he keeps two grab bags in case of emergency
Matthew Hoy, head of emergency planning, revealed he keeps two grab bags in case of emergency

The head of emergency planning at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) revealed on BBC Breakfast that he keeps two grab bags in case of emergency.

Matthew Hoy was appearing on the show to talk to broadcasters Dan Walker and Louise Minchin about a campaign that went viral for urging people to put together a grab bag in case of emergency.

Mr Hoy said: "I have got two, so one lives in the house which is probably slightly different because it's got a lot of my work stuff in case there's an emergency and I have to go and respond to that.

"I have one in the car which is in case I get stuck in traffic."

The campaign for grab bags went viral online as people responded humorously to the advice and wondered what sort of emergency the authorities were anticipating.

The advice on grab bags is part of a month long preparedness campaign in September called 30 days 30 ways UK which was piloted by NCC in 2015 and aims to help people be better prepared for emergencies.

Matthew Hoy was on BBC Breakfast's red sofa to talk about an advice campaign on grab bags

Matthew Hoy was on BBC Breakfast's red sofa to talk about an advice campaign on grab bags

One joke tweet showed a grab bag that appeared to be preparing for a vampire attack, with garlic, a silver stake and a bible.

Mr Hoy said the humorous reactions were expected and that it helped the campaign.

"We always expected there would be jokes and comments.

"The fact that message is getting across is a really positive thing for us."

Mr Hoy said a grab bag should include essentials like any medication, phone chargers, key documents that you would need to take quickly in an emergency.

The emergency planner said: "There's all sorts of things that could happen at any time but the most common sorts of things people might need it for in this country is for flooding, they can happen very quickly without notice, occasionally a gas leak.

"Really it's just about different things happening without warning and you might need to leave your home quite quickly."

The appearance was met with mixed reaction online, with one local resident speculating why people are being advised to prepare a grab bag and asking what Northamptonshire County Council knows that residents do not.

Others felt the advice was scaremongering while one woman pointed out the timing of the campaign had been problematic because the government's Get Ready for Brexit campaign started the same day.

The grab bag campaign is not related to the Brexit preparedness campaign and is about being prepared for a emergency like a fire, flood or other urgent incident.

Mr Hoy said his grab bag is in an easy to grab place and that he'd rather have to remember one bag than try to remember all his essentials in a hurry.

He said: "Just that little bit of preparation means you can get out quicker and safer and make sure you have got the bits that you need."