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.
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 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.
Principles of Community Resilience
- Communities are self selecting
- Communities need to act in support of the Emergency services
- It is done by the people not to the people
- Communities need to use local knowledge and existing networks
- Communities need to raise the awareness of the risks
Benefits of Community Resilience
- Communities can minimise the impact of an emergency and therefore potential damage to person or property.
- Communities can be quicker to recover following an emergency
- The community will have structured communication networks
- Community members tend to have a "can do" attitude and "muck in"
- Members of the community often know what actions need to be taken to help reduce the impact of a specific problem.
- They feel that the actions taken are specific to their needs and not imposed on them from the outside.
- The communities tend to continue to work together when the emergency has passed, making improvements or maintaining local facilities etc.
- The communities tend to look to themselves for answers and problem solving, not wait or look to outside agencies.
- People within the community are better able to understand the roles of outside agencies in an emergency and therefore communicate their needs and priorities
Resilient Community Features
Resilient Communities usually have the following features:
- Aware of risks and awareness of vulnerable people
- Have a community champion
- Have a community emergency group who are able to influence decision making in the interest of the community
- Strive towards partnership working
- Have a community emergency plan
- People within the community are prepared to use ordinary skills in extraordinary circumstances
For more information contact: Emergency Planning Office on 01437 775661 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabinet Office UK Resilience
Emergency Planning Society