In order to assist the statutory agencies to provide support to the vulnerable within the local area, Local Authorities may set up a Community Resilience Team. The team may establish a ‘Good Neighbour Network’ where the community will be able to identify people who may be at risk.
In the event of an emergency, the community should feed details of vulnerable people in their area back to a nominated member of the Community Resilience Team. The information should include contact details for the vulnerable person/s including those who already receive care / welfare support and details of where this is from. This will allow the Community Resilience Team to ensure that the care continues. This information should only be collated in an emergency.
Sites in the community may also need additional support in the event of an emergency such as care homes, which should also be included.
What is Community Resilience?
Community Resilience is about knowing who your community are and being able to help and support each other in the face of a common crisis. Throughout the history of mankind we have overcome adversity by acting together whether the threat has been one of conflict, natural or man-made disaster. Even during quite innocuous events such as a power cuts, storms and snowfall, community resilience (or plain simple ‘looking out for each other’) makes good sense. It strengthens the bonds and links between your community and has all sorts of positive spin offs.
Community resilience is particularly relevant today. In recent times we have seen many local post offices, shops and public houses closing in rural areas. This has cut the number of natural links between people in local communities. Increasingly people use the internet to gain access to information, goods and services. This is an all important and natural progress but we should always be prepared to fall back on our traditional support networks.
Examples of Community Resilience
- Knowing who your neighbours are and sharing contact details
- Knowing whether you have any vulnerable neighbours and checking up on them (in severe weather for example)
- Knowing whether any of your neighbours have special skills/professions which might be invaluable if your community were isolated (for example nurses, doctors, tree surgeons)
- Knowing whether any of your neighbours have equipment which could be of use if your community were isolated (for example generators, 4x4 vehicles, emergency lighting, spare beds, blankets and clothing)
- Preparing a box of essentials within your home so that you are ready for power cuts or possible periods of isolation.
- Think about what you have that relies on power and ask yourself how you can manage without that power. For example, is your phone the type which plugs direct to the wall, thereby using power from the exchange (which is preserved in a power cut for around 14 days)? Or do you have a battery charged wireless telephone which relies on mains power only and would therefore be useless in a power cut. Other things to think about are wind up chargers for mobile phones (the mobile network is likely to be operating in a power cut for at least 24 hours).Community Resilience