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Community resilience

Information on how to plan and prepare.

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What is Community Resilience?

A major incident is any event or circumstance (happening with or without warning) that causes  or threatens death or injury, disruption to the community, or damage to property or to the environment on such a scale that the effect cannot be dealt with by the emergency services, local authorities and other organisations as part of their normal day to day activities.

Although there is no statutory responsibility for communities to plan for, respond to, or recover from major incidents, it is good practice and deemed to be within the best interest of a community to identify hazards and make simple plans on how they could help and respond to them.

A key issue for communities in an emergency situation is understanding the vulnerability of neighbours throughout that emergency. Past experience has shown that people who are not considered vulnerable or in need of help in normal circumstances can quite quickly become vulnerable as a result of the effects of an emergency. e.g. the COVID-19 global pandemic or prolonged freezing conditions. It is at this point that responder organisation data becomes less useful than in normal statutory emergency response agencies circumstances and when community knowledge becomes critical to intervention either by the community itself or by responder organisations.

Covid-19 and Community Resilience Information Bulletins

Find your nearest Resilience Group

No plan? Starting a new group

We have resilience groups throughout the region but there are still some areas without one. To help you establish a new group, we have introduced a quick-start process with a template, guidance and the all-important insurance cover.


Support is available by contacting your local Ward Officer

For additional information on creating a plan visit Ready Scotland

Completed forms should be returned to 

Scottish Government Guidance

Community Resilience Groups are providing valuable lifeline services within our communities and should be able to continue to provide these services safely by following the Government Guidance in relation to volunteering including current safety measures, such as F.A.C.T.S.

Should you feel that you are unable to provide the necessary support being requested in your community without being able to adhere to the Government Guidance you should not provide this support and you should make a referral to

Covid-19 Local Area Data  

Public Health Scotland's interactive dashboard now provides a map showing the number of cases in local areas, as well as trends for local authorities and NHS boards. You can access data for your community by accessing the 'Cases by neighbourhood' tab and you may want to share this information with your contacts

Stay Safe, Be Kind

During lockdown we are all having to spend more time than usual in our homes. We all need to be mindful and show considerations to our community.  We have put together a few simple tips on how you can be a good neighbour during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic - you may want to share the following tips and this short youtube video via your social media channels.


Dumfries and Galloway Council

Third Sector D&G               

Scottish Government           


Reference Information


To increase resilience within the local community through the development of robust co-ordinated arrangements that compliment those of responding agencies.


  • Identify risks to the community and relevant response actions
  • Support vulnerable citizens in the community
  • Identify resources in the community available to assist during an emergency
  • Provide key contact details for the Community Response Team, Key Community Resources, the Emergency Services and Local Authorities
  • Assist Dumfries & Galloway Council's Ward Officers with situational updates relevant to your Community


Why Plan?

Since the mid 1980's the United Kingdom has been affected by various natural and technological disasters all of which to a greater or lesser extent have impacted on local communities. The nature of the actual threat to the United Kingdom has changed over time and new threats have been identified. Currently, the following threats should be considered:

  • Isolation of the community through severe weather resulting in blizzards, flooding, gale force winds, landslides and the loss of critical utilities such as electricity or telephones.
  • Climate change challenges caused by significantly higher summer temperatures, e.g. a heat wave adversely affecting the young and elderly or wildfires.
  • Health crisis such as COVID-19 or pandemic influenza occurring and affecting the ability of organisations to provide services to the local populace.
  • Interruption to businesses and supply of goods to communities caused by disruptive challenges e.g. fuel shortages affecting agriculture or distribution services.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 was enacted to provide both formalised structures and processes to enhance the provision of emergency planning across the United Kingdom, in light of the various incidents that occurred in previous years. The aim of the Act is to ensure that all local authorities and others undertake planning both to mitigate risks within their communities and to be adequately prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.

What role does the local community have?

The Civil Contingencies Act has not yet designated a formal role for local communities in the response to, and recovery from, emergencies or disruptive challenges but the value of local planning is well recognised. This local planning can help prepare a community for occasions when support from other organisations (for whatever reason) is not immediately available or which may be limited in scope or capacity.

What hazards to address?

Potential hazards could vary between communities; for example, flooding may present the major risk in low lying land alongside rivers and streams, but this may not present a risk on higher ground in the other parts of the Region. It will be for the community to determine where to focus its efforts in the development of any plan.

Additionally, it may be useful for a community to prepare separate emergency arrangements if there is a need to reflect risks that are likely only in certain points within their geographical area.

How long do we have to cope for?

It is important to recognise that in extreme circumstances as envisaged by national planning assumptions and guidance, that there may be occasion when the community will have to cope for up to 72 hours (or more) before any aid from other agencies may arrive. For instance, extreme snow falls and blizzards or flooding conditions over a prolonged period affecting the whole of the country may cause roads to be impassable.

What information to record?

The template includes sections for the more obvious contact numbers and resource requirements to support the community in a broad range of crises. However, the presence or absence of certain risks may require the inclusion of other important information or the removal of unnecessary sections from the template to avoid confusion. Again this must be a local community decision; the bottom line is that the information recorded must help any local response.

What happens to the plan when completed?

The local community should keep the plan accessible to residents. This will help ensure that they are aware of what the risks are, the resources which are available and how the community intends to activate the plan and respond to a crisis. A copy of the plan should be sent in electronic form to your local Ward Officer and / or Dumfries & Galloway Council Resilience & Community Safety Team. The Unit will extract primary contact details and will then arrange for it to be hosted on their Geographical Information System (GIS) for future reference and access if required in an emergency.

What happens if circumstances change?

The community resilience plan should be amended when circumstances change significantly. Significant changes to the completed template, especially changes in contact details, should be passed in electronic form to your local Ward Officer and / or Dumfries & Galloway Council Resilience & Community Safety Team.


Stay Safe, Be Kind

During lockdown we are all having to spend more time than usual in our homes. We all need to be mindful and show considerations to our community.  We have put together a few simple tips on how you can be a good neighbour during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic - you may want to share the following tips and this short youtube video via your social media channels.


1.         Talk to your neighbours from a distance
Just talking, can make a huge difference to how you feel during lockdown. Have a chat to your neighbour over the fence or across your balcony if you can, even if you haven't done so before. We are all in this together - but remember to keep to the government guidelines for social distancing and stay at least 2-metres apart.

2.         Talk to family and friends virtually
If you have a smartphone, apps such as FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp allow you to make video calls using your home internet connection, at no extra charge. There are various other apps that allow for bigger groups to video chat and play games together.

3.         Use local social media groups, such as Facebook and WhatsApp
There are various local groups across social media platforms that you can join, to stay updated and share any news in your local area. These can also be used if you or somebody you know need support in your area.

4.         Ask your neighbour if they need something during your trip to the shops
Whether your neighbour is vulnerable or not, if you're heading out to do some shopping, maybe you could pick up a few essentials for them too. The less people that leave their homes the better, so we should all try to help each other. 

5.         Give each other space

Even in your own home, you might want some time to yourself.  Agree with your partner or family to spend some time in a separate room - and reassure them it does not mean you don't love them you just need some quiet time.

6.         Clear a path/spread some salt

Perhaps offering to clear someone's path of snow or putting some salt or grit down will enable someone to feel safe in leaving their home for exercise or to visit the shops for essential groceries.

A small act of kindness can make a difference to someone's life!

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