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 consult with relevant Stirling Council officers before 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.
Why would you create a group plan?
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is the UK Government legislation covering emergencies, and who is responsible for preparing and responding to them. Stirling Council is known as a Category 1 responder in Scotland- along with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Board, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Maritime & Coastguard Agency. This legislation places statutory duties on public bodies, to assess, plan and advise for emergencies.
So where do Community Resilience Groups come in? These voluntary groups allow a more formalised channel for public volunteers to put their energies into. CRGs provide local residents a constructive means of rendering assistance during an emergency, that keeps them safe and makes the most effective use of time, resource, skills and experience. These groups will develop a Community Resilience Plan, which structures their responsibilities and planned response to a crisis.
Ultimately, resilient communities are those who self-organise and plan their response to local emergencies and seek to work in partnership with others to render assistance when it matters most.
Create a Plan
This is a step-by-step guide on how to create a Community Resilience Group and Plan.
- Remember who and where you plan is for – the residents of your local Community Council area. Try to bring together a small starting group of people that reflects the make-up of your area – groups with a mix of backgrounds will have a greater diversity of talents and strengths.
- Reach out to your Community Council to research any past progress or planning. If your area doesn’t currently have a Community Council, try other community groups to judge engagement and interest. These volunteers have already shown an investment in your area – so tap into that enthusiasm!
- Get in touch with us. We can often provide a background to previous planning in your area, and offer points on how to bring together a group and plan.
- Complete a risk assessment for your area. Are there rivers near-by that may flood? Does your area have hard to reach properties in the event of heavy snowfall?
- Assess what local skills and resources you have at your disposal. Note these down in the template document.
- Think about what locations might be available to your group in an emergency. Are there community buildings in the area that can assist you in an emergency? Is there a communal site where any equipment can be stored and easily accessed when needed?
- Make a note of phone numbers and contact details. It may be worth writing these down and safely storing them, as electronics can be unreliable in emergency situations.
- Involve your community! Community Councils will usually already have a good network in an area, but if this isn’t the case the resilience group can develop its’ own. Social media platforms offer powerful engagement tools, allowing you to get your message out there and make use of local knowledge and talent.
Using Your Plan
Once your plan is created, remember to email a copy across to Resilience@stirling.gov.uk. This ensures we have a copy on our records, in case we need to contact your group in a developing situation.
- Designate a person/people in your group as your Resilience Coordinator(s). This role will be tasked with liaising with Stirling Council. Should your group feel that your plan needs to be activated, get in touch with the Contact Centre on 01786 404040.
- Stay safe, and do not put your volunteers at risk. The main role of the resilience group is to feedback the ground situation and local conditions to the relevant authorities and help collate an overall picture of what’s going on.
- If your volunteers do decide to go further and assist the community with tasks such as shovelling snow – be cautious, stay safe and don’t do anything that may put yourself or others at risk.
Beyond the Plan
The Community Resilience Plan is only one function of a Community Resilience Group. In between incidents and emergencies, your group and its’ volunteers can collaborate with local partners and organisations, to push resilience further.
Education and preparedness are two crucial factors in building and sustaining vibrant and resilient communities. Your group can be important players in this on-going campaign.
The terms 'Community Resilience Group/Community Resilience Plan' are often interchangeable with 'Community Emergency Group/Community Emergency Plan'. Stirling Council continues to use 'Resilience', as this term encompasses the wide array of activities CRGs can take part in. The Scottish Government have produced extensive documentation for interested groups to use:
- Guide to Emergency Planning for Community Groups - A starter-guide on how to pull together a plan
- Community Emergency Plan Template - A solid template which you can change to suit your local area
- Community Resilience Toolkit - This is a tool you can use to run a workshop session on Community Resilience, perhaps useful for when you're brainstorming in your group.
Further information from the Scottish Government Resilience Division.
Funding & Support
The main resources required to build resilience in your community are time and the patience to build strong relationships. We can offer basic equipment to Community Resilience Groups, for use in appropriate situations.
We encourage Community Resilience Groups to share best practice where possible. Local groups should make use of the various external funding streams available to them. Here you can find an updated database of these funds.
For some commonly asked questions, see our dedicated page.