Scotland has experienced several major severe weather events over recent years. These events have challenged multi-agency emergency responders, local businesses and local communities. It is acknowledged that emergency responders have finite resources and in some emergencies – in particular severe weather events – difficulty can be experienced in providing immediate support to all affected communities.
In recent years, Fife's communities have experienced prolonged periods of heavy snow and ice, hurricane strength winds and severe flooding. These events have affected power, fuel and food supplies, as well as transportation and health and social care support.
Lessons identified from these events have included recognition from Scottish Government that individuals and communities have a key role to play in building resilience within their own communities. The Scottish Government website 'Ready Scotland' provides excellent introduction to getting ready for severe weather and how your Community can prepare itself for emergencies. You will also find advice on preparing your Community Emergency Plan, about other communities' resilience planning and good practice. Publications, key advice web links and other useful information can also be accessed on the 'Ready Scotland' link below:
Ready Scotland - community emergency planning
Communities should consider:
- the risks that exist and how vulnerable are we?
- what existing skills, knowledge and resources exist to prepare for and deal with the consequences of emergencies
- how can a community work together to complement the work of the local emergency responders before, during and after an emergency.
The emergency responders can’t be everywhere, at the same time. They have to prioritise areas in greatest need, especially where lives are at risk.
A community emergency plan, or a set of emergency arrangements with key contacts and resources, are ways in which individuals and groups can help build their community's resilience. The community should then be better prepared to cope until the emergency responders arrive. This preparation should help the community's longer-term recovery.
Fife Council's Emergency Resilience Team collaborated with Leslie Community Council to develop a community emergency plan template which has now been used as a starting point by other Community Councils such as Kettle CC, Burntisland CC and also, most recently, Newport, Wormit and Forgan CC. A number of others are currently in various stages of working through their Community Emergency Plan / arrangements.
The Community Emergency Plan template (accessed below from the publications list) can be used as the basis for your own Community Emergency Plan, or to promote discussion around Community Resilience and associated arrangements within your community.
For other information and / or advice on resilienct communities please contact our Team on the contact details provided on this page.
Tel: 01592 583544 Contact Emergency Resilience Team online