What is community resilience?
Community resilience is about communities and individuals harnessing local resources and expertise to help themselves in an emergency, in a way that complements the response of the emergency services and authorities.
Why is community resilience important?
• Emergencies happen, preparing yourself and your family will make it easier to recover from the impacts of an emergency.
• Being aware of the risks you might face, and who in your community might need your help, could make your community better prepared to cope with an emergency.
• Local emergency responders will always have to prioritise those in the greatest need during an emergency, especially where life is in danger. During these times, you need to know how to help yourself and those around you.
Community Emergency Plan
Many communities already help one another in time of need, but experience had shown that those who have spent a bit of time preparing a simple Community Emergency Plan are better able to cope and recover more quickly from emergencies. The LRF Community Resilience Group multi-agency partners work together to promote community resilience in Gloucestershire. The group has developed a simple Community Emergency Plan template and supporting guidance to help communities produce a plan. The group also held 2 Community Emergency Plan workshops in April 2022 to which all Parish and Town Councils were invited. For further information, here are the workshop slides and recordings (part 1 & part 2 after break).
Gloucestershire Rural Community Council has developed some additional guidance on Places of Safety and has useful emergency planning guidance and toolkit on their website. The Government also had Community Resilience information and plan template on Gov.uk.
Plan Testing Toolkit
Once your community has developed a Community Emergency Plan, it is valuable to ‘test’ the arrangements in the plan to make sure they work. Identifying possible problems and resolving these will ensure things go as smoothly as possible if you ever have to do it for real.
The LRF Community Resilience Group partners have developed a toolkit, designed to help communities test their plan, whether it’s a simple ‘call out test’ to check contact details, or a ‘real life’ practice such as opening up a ‘Place of Safety’ involving members of your local community.
It is important to remember that you should never do anything which puts you or anyone in your community at risk. If need be call the Emergency Services.