Resilience is the name for the ability to handle and recover from circumstances. In the context of communities, it means a communities capacity to cope with difficult situations and return to normality after the emergency is over.

Modern life has grown increasingly complicated, with complex, interconnected systems and services maintaining our standards of living. Disruption to utilities, severe weather, terrorism and accidents are only a few examples of events that can affect our daily routines and lives. Developing resilience means planning ahead of time, so when there is an emergency communities are in a better position to respond and recover.

Community Resilience does not replace the work of the emergency services or any other public body. Instead, when communities self-organise and develop their planning and resilience, it provides a strong foundation from which to recover after an emergency. From shovelling snow, to simply providing the authorities information of the on-the-ground conditions to feed into decision-making, community resilience is important to Stirling, and to you.

Community Councils maintain their own third-party liability insurance; Community Resilience Groups are covered by the extension of this, when the CRG is aligned with the Community Council - either as a sub-group or with membership cross-over. 

If your CRG is not aligned to an existing Community Council, it will be necessary to seek and fund third-party liability insurance coverage.

'You should definitely not see insurance and liability as a barrier to preparing your community for emergencies.  Having a Community Emergency Plan does not mean that volunteers should be putting themselves in danger, or endangering other people in the community.

For every-day activities that you might do to help your neighbours, in a personal capacity, your ordinary household buildings or contents insurance will generally provide personal liability cover. You must always take reasonable care, and not take unnecessary risks. If you are in doubt, you must check your insurance policy or contact your insurer.

If you are part of an existing group, you may have third party liability insurance, and you can check with that insurer that the types of activities you want to do will be covered by your policy.

If your group is not employing anyone, health and safety legislation will not apply to you. However, if you are motivated to do something to help your community in an emergency, you will want to make sure that the volunteers who are working with you do so safely.

Some communities have made arrangements with their local authorities to enable actions taken as part of their community emergency plan to be covered under the local authority’s third-party liability insurance. You may want to discuss this possibility with your local authority.

For Community Councils covered by Zurich Municipal Insurance, it has been agreed that community resilience activities that don’t involve mechanized equipment will be covered under existing policies. You should contact Zurich Insurance to check if this applies to your group. 

General advice on health and safety for voluntary groups is available at:



That's up to you and your group! Some groups have acted as eyes-and-ears on the ground, feeding back the local situation and current conditions to the authorities. Other groups have remained active as communicators, facilitating community training sessions on planning and developing resilience. The choice is yours, any time you can spare to volunteer for your community is always welcome.

Last updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 4:51 PM