Household and community resilience
Resilience starts at home. With simple planning, you can boost your preparedness.
Keeping safe at home
Resilience is an ability to recover from setbacks - and the first building block to a resilient community is the household. By taking basic steps, with minimal time and resource, you can play a role in wider efforts to increase Stirling's preparedness.
Phase one - Prepare
Simple, common sense planning can save a big headache down the road. Here are some tips on how you can get your household ready come what may:
- Take a few hours with a notepad and pen, and do a visual tour of your home. Identify any cracks in external walls, issues with doors and windows, and from the ground visually assess your roof. Are there any leaks? Make arrangements for these issues to be addressed whilst there isn't the pressure of an emergency. A wind and water-tight home is a solid foundation to start from. If you're a Council tenant, see our specific guidance on repairs here.
- Create an Emergency Plan (Scottish Government template). The process of pulling this plan together alone will be invaluable to yourself and others, helping you get into the mind-set of preparation.
- Reinforce this plan with an Emergency Kit; in times of extreme weather, you may be in place for a few days. Brush up on our guidance for Flooding.
- Speak to your friends, family and flatmates about what you would do in an emergency situation. Who are your key contacts? What are your vital documents? Working together we can keep each other informed and safe.
Phase two - Getting through
Coping with an emergency
Emergencies, disasters and crises come in all shapes and sizes. For incidents such as flooding, severe weather and disruption of utilities, these can last for several days.
Different incidents may require different responses, but in general, you're best to:
- Go In: Seek shelter as soon as you can, preferably your home if safe to do so.
- Stay In: Remain in place until notified by the authorities it is safe to leave.
- Tune In: Radio, TV and official social media channels will provide information and guidance on next steps. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or check the current website you're on for updates.
It is likely the emergency services will be under strain during a prolonged incident - through preparation and reasonable precautions, we can help ensure resources go to where they're most needed.
Be a Good Neighbour
Your household may be one of many in a larger community. During incidents such as severe weather, communities are stronger when they respond together. Consider checking in with neighbours, and consult our section on Community Resilience for more information.
Phase three - Recovering
It can be easier or more difficult to bring back a sense of routine and ordinary life, depending on the size and scale of the emergency. In the aftermath of severe weather, it may take days or weeks before services and life can return to normal. For those affected by emergencies, this may take years. Resilience is the capacity to bounce back, to recover and to take steps to prepare for the future. Here are some steps you can take post-emergency:
- Ensure everyone is accounted for. People may be displaced during an emergency, so getting back in touch to regroup and debrief is a good first step.
- Tour your home and make a careful note of any damages that have taken place. You may need this information for insurance purposes.
- Recognise the effect emergencies can have on your mental health. Be sure to check in with yourself, and seek further guidance if necessary.
- Review the situation - where were the strengths and weaknesses of your planning?
We each play a role in the wider community around us. By working together in times of difficulty, we can help make recovery quicker and return to normality much more efficiently.
Resilient communities come down to being a good neighbour. Building positive relationships with those who live around us can be invaluable when an emergency hits. Knowing who can provide a bit of assistance, or who might need it, makes a difference.
The Scottish Government and Local Authorities work together to support more formalised structures for developing preparedness - these are called Community Resilience Groups.
Community Resilience Groups
Community Resilience Groups (CRGs) are volunteers within your community, who lead on the formation and execution of their Community Resilience Plan. These groups usually align to your Community Council, though in some instances may operate separately.
The area these groups and plans cover aligns to the Community Council boundary map.
CRGs do not supplement or replace the work of the emergency services. Rather, volunteers will cooperate with Stirling Council as a point of contact, collating information and assisting in safe activities at a level they are comfortable with. For example, this might be volunteering at a Support Centre during an emergency or clearing snow from communal paths.
Community Resilience Plan
A Community Resilience Plan is a document owned by a Community Resilience Group. It outlines what the group will do in an emergency situation if their plan is activated.
The group will keep in touch with relevant Stirling Council officers, and if appropriate, both parties will agree to proceed with activation.
A plan will contain a localised risk assessment - for example, the likelihood of flooding. Measures can be put in place to mitigate these risks. Some groups may also have access to communal equipment, such as grit, salt, snow shovels, high-visibility clothing to name a few examples.
As these plans will contain contact information for volunteers, and other sensitive information, these plans are not publicly available. If you wish to get involved in your Community Resilience Group, you should get in touch with your local Community Council who can direct you as appropriate.