New guidelines issued by Birmingham City Council warn families to invest in a home survival kit in case of floods, power cuts and other emergencies.

Households are told to make sure they have enough supplies to last for at least three days, including a hurricane lamp, batter-powered radio and bottled water.

Other essential items are a torch, sleeping bag, camping stove, long-life food, fire extinguisher, Wellington boots, rubber gloves and waterproof clothing.

Spare batteries, candles, a first aid kit and can opener could also come in handy, according to the Preparing for Emergencies in Birmingham leaflet.

The advice, published by the council and the Birmingham Resilience Team, says that emergencies happen more often than most people think.

It mentions the tornado in 2005, which ripped through Kings Heath, Moseley and Sparkbrook, causing millions of pounds of damage to properties.

In the same year, riots in Lozells saw youths clash on the streets and caused more damage to property.

More recently families had to leave their homes when the River Tame, River Cole and River Rea flooded.

Deputy council leader Paul Tilsley described the survival kit as “basic common sense”.

Coun Tilsley (Lib Dem Sheldon) said most people would already have the items to hand, it was simply a case of putting them all in one place.

He added: “It’s about getting the balance right.

“Emergencies do happen and it is essential that people are prepared for the worst as far as possible..”