Community Resilience - enabling people to be better prepared in an emergency

Our philosophy within the LRF is to promote 'Community Resilience' which is about enabling people to be better prepared in an emergency. This can be done in a number of ways, for example, by individual households - please see our Are You Ready? booklet.

Kids Zone

Everyone can make a valuable contribution towards building community resilience. We encourage children to get involved - please see our Kids Zone.

Local Plans - keeping your community safe

All local agencies are fully committed to responding to and supporting our communities at times of emergency and crisis. However, to minimise the impact of such situations the most powerful response is for communities to get together themselves beforehand to produce their own Community Emergency Plan. It is local people who know their neighbourhoods better than anyone. Working together to produce a Community Emergency Plan will galvanise community spirit, motivate members of the public and encourage a good neighbourly approach.

Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council lead on community resilience for the LRF and Wiltshire Council has produced a helpful 4 step AIDE to Community Resilience 4 step toolkit  and a Community Plan Template to assist in the production of a Community Emergency Plan.  Early action on the ground, especially in more remote areas, depends on local capacity, skills and resources. Prior planning, using this toolkit, can make sure that the local response is as effective as possible and that your community can recover speedily from an emergency. Preparing a Community Emergency Plan will also raise local awareness of the risks that may affect residents, encourage local people to adapt and use their existing skills, knowledge and resources to deal with an emergency, and build local commitment to working in partnership with the emergency services and other local agencies. Wiltshire Council is keen to support communities in producing these plans and their Emergency Planning Department is readily available to offer advice and guidance. This Department also assists communities in testing their plans and further information can be obtained from them.

In 2013, Swindon Borough Council secured Government funding for a community resilience project in relation to flooding. The project will learn from the collective experience of DEFRA, the Environment Agency, local authorities and partners such as the National Flood Forum in developing a new community led approach to flood risk management. The project aims to raise community awareness and empowerment through a programme of engagement, training and exercising and to build confidence thereby developing community resilience. It encourages participation in flood preparedness activities to affect change at the community level whereby groups are empowered to realise innovative and sustainable solutions to flooding and to mitigate the financial impacts of flooding on vulnerable groups. The project is ongoing at this time.

The British weather can be unpredictable and it is important that communities plan for severe weather. The Met Office promote community resilience and provide advice on a whole range of weather scenarios through their website. This advice can be accessed here

Flooding

Flooding is one of the major risks that face many communities across the UK and this is true of Wiltshire and Swindon. The Environment Agency produce helpful advice and guidance about preparing for flooding and this can be found at the Environment Agency Website.

The LRF bases its planning around risk in order to prioritise its work programme. We have produced the Community Risk Register  which is a publicly available document and may be helpful in drafting a Community Emergency Plan - please see Community Risk Register.

For more information and advice on producing a Community Emergency Plan please contact Wiltshire Council Emergency Planning Department at  emergencyplanning@wiltshire.gov.uk or Nick Bancroft at Swindon Borough Council at nbancroft@swindon.gov.uk.

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