Working together for a resilient Birmingham.

Community Resilience Framework for Practitioners

This government guidance gives practical advice on how to carry out assessments of communities in the area to support building resilience. It includes:


The Context for personal and business resilience

1. Community resilience in the context of personal and business resilience

Communities, businesses, and individuals are empowered to harness local resources and expertise to help themselves and their communities to:

Resilience to emergencies and disasters is about being aware of risks that might impact the individual, or the continuity of a business, and planning and preparing for them to minimise the impact and disruption.

The promotion of community resilience should be considered in the context of the promotion of personal and business resilience. Communities consist of individuals and often businesses, and sometimes a business is a community. The resilience of individuals and businesses contributes to the wider community’s resilience, which in turn contributes to wider national resilience.

Resilience to emergencies and disasters is about being aware of risks that might impact the individual, or the continuity of a business, and planning and preparing for them to minimise the impact and disruption.

Community resilience is about empowering individuals, businesses and community groups to:

2. The benefits of resilient individuals, businesses and communities

Individuals, businesses and communities benefit from:

Government and emergency responders benefit from:

3. Principles for supporting community resilience

Community resilience can be most effectively supported by informing, engaging and empowering communities, in different measures, as appropriate for the specific community context.

Whilst there are standard methods and outputs to support community resilience (for example production of emergency plans) it is the ongoing process of informing, engaging and empowering communities, and how this is conducted, which is of greatest importance.

The following principles should guide practitioners activities to support community resilience:

4. Activities for a community resilient to emergencies and disasters

Resilient communities have a role in all parts of the emergency cycle. This is explained by outlining the types of activities that communities might be involved with.

Community resilience framework pic 1

4.1 Preparedness

4.2 Response

4.3 Recovery

4.4 Mitigation/protection

4.5 Support from government, Category 1 and 2 responders, voluntary and private organisations

5. Legislative context for community resilience

The Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004 states that Category 1 responders are required to:

Emergency Preparedness guidance on part 1 of the CCA, its associated regulations and non-statutory arrangements provides further details.

*see CCA 2004 for details

6. National resilience context for community resilience

The promotion of community resilience is part of the government’s national security strategy. The National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security review made the following statements and commitments in relation to community resilience:

4.128 The UK’s resilience depends on all of us – the emergency services, local and central government, businesses, communities and individual members of the public.

4.132 We will expand and deepen the government’s partnership with the private and voluntary sectors, and with communities and individuals, as it is on these relationships that the resilience of the UK ultimately rests.

4.145 We recognise that the response to, and recovery from, an emergency is carried out first and foremost at the local level. As well as the police, fire and rescue and health services, a wide range of organisations could be involved. These include local government, voluntary service organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals.

4.147 We will also continue to support the Prince of Wales’ Business Emergency Recovery Group, a business-led initiative that helps businesses and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from crises.



  1. Communities


Steps for increasing community participation

1. Opening up responder resilience structures to the public

How are emergency responders in this neighbourhood or community configured to enable communities to build resilience?

Consider how your organisation enables the public to be aware and take responsibility for their own resilience by:

2. Identifying communities, characteristics and risks

What are the communities in the area and for those communities what are their characteristics, their risk profile, propensity for community action and the priority for engagement?

Undertake a high level strategic assessment of the communities in the area and prioritise which communities might be supported by:

3. Aligning community and agency priorities, and assessment of risks, capabilities and needs

What knowledge, priorities, capabilities and resources does the community have, and how can these be supported and utilised to increase its resilience?

Facilitate the community’s assessment of their risks, capabilities, needs and priorities and agreeing with statutory agencies the support the community requires in building its own resilience by:

  1. motivation and drivers for community action
  2. perception of risk, and experience of hazards and threats
  3. assessment of their vulnerabilities and capabilities
  4. knowledge and approach for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery
  5. knowledge of agency roles, responsibilities, and available support
  6. perception of their own roles, responsibilities and expectations of agencies

4. Informing, engaging and empowering communities

What actions should be taken to inform, engage and empower communities?

Inform, engage and empower communities to develop and implement their preparedness, response and mitigation projects by:

5. Reviewing community preparedness and impact of activities

How resilient are the communities and what has been the impact of the work to inform, engage and empower?

Review success in increasing resilience and assessing what further action is required by:




Roles, Responsibilities and partnerships

  1. 1. HM Government

In line with the commitments made within the Strategic Defence and Security Review, it is proposed that HM Government will:

  • communicate the vision of more resilient communities
  • encourage a cultural shift towards greater community empowerment in the response to emergencies
  • provide consistent national policy and messaging on the approach for building resilient communities
  • integrate community resilience with other related government policy
  • develop and support a community of practice, facilitating networking through the Communities Prepared National Group and sharing examples of best practice by its members
  • develop and share tools for use by communities and practitioners
  • strengthen ties with social research to further our understanding of what works and reflect this in the guidance
  • maintain an overview of the success of this approach by periodically monitoring the activities and outcomes to make communities resilient

2. Local Resilience Forums (LRF)

Whilst there may be specific responders that take the lead on developing community resilience it is essential that local activity to support community resilience has appropriate oversight and governance at a strategic level. Ideally this oversight and support will be integrated into the structure of the LRF, which should be used to:

  • agree the LRF’s strategy and approach to community resilience in their area
  • identify an executive level champion for building community resilience and a member of the Communities Prepared National Group
  • maintain an overview of community resilience across the LRF
  • prioritise support to those communities deemed to be at greater risk due to their physical location, geography, demographics or any other factor that may place a community at greater risk
  • co-ordinate member organisations’ (including Category 1 and 2 responders, voluntary organisations and the Business Emergency Resilience Group) engagement activity within communities across broader issues than emergency management
  • agree how community resilience will be integrated within the LRFs generic emergency response and recovery plan
  • agree, where appropriate, how the community resilience approach will take account of statutory duties the Civil Contingencies Act places on emergency responders such as ‘communicating with the public’ and ‘business continuity’ advice
  • support testing and exercising of community resilience plans

3. LRF member organisations

Individual organisations including Category 1 and 2 responders, voluntary organisations and Business Emergency Resilience Group will need to consider the extent to which they will support their organisation and the LRF to achieve its shared strategy. In particular it is expected they will:

  • make information publicly available which helps individuals, businesses and communities to assess risk in their local area and take preparation action
  • engage in dialogue with communities to understand how their organisation’s operations should be configured to enable community preparedness, response and recovery activities
  • form a view on whether community resilience could be a part of the range of their organisation’s current community engagement activities, including activities currently unrelated to resilience
  • consider how resilience can be integrated into existing community engagement of other organisations prior to any new engagement
  • ensure ‘communicating with the public’, ‘warning and informing’ and ‘business continuity’ advice structures support community resilience activity – informing the triggers for individual, business and community response and recovery activity
  • support the development of more localised risk registers contributing expertise and knowledge
  • provide advice, support and on some occasions leadership, to enable community resilience activities share their experiences with their colleagues to improve practice nationally

4. Communities

To ensure community plans and resilience activity will have a sustained effect, real community empowerment and ownership of their resilience is required. Community members should:

  • contribute to any existing emergency planning, working with other members of their community, other community groups, and responsible organisations
  • self-assess the primary risks to their way of life and business continuity, and their resilience to those risks, using information from statutory agencies where possible
  • undertake resilience activity that establishes:
    • what the community can do collectively to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from an emergency
    • the skills and assets that the community has to achieve this
    • how the community will report its situation to statutory agencies
    • how and when they can exercise their response and recovery approach
    • how their activities co-ordinate with those of the Category 1 and 2 responders and other community groups



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