Community involvement

So you want to learn more about making your community resilient?

Emergencies happen. Your local emergency responders will always have to prioritise those in greatest needs during an emergency, especially where life is in danger. There will be times when you may be affected by an emergency but your life is not in immediate danger.

During this time, individuals and communities may need to rely on their own resources to ensure they are able to cope with the consequences of the emergency. Many communities already spontaneously help one another in times of need, but previous experience has shown that those who have spent time planning and preparing for this are better able to cope, and recover more quickly.

How resilient is your community? Your Council ward, Council borough, village or street? Your sports club or other community group?  And what can you do to help build this resilience?

Presently,  there are a number of communities in the UK already involved in preparing for emergencies, those communities:

  • Are aware of risks that may affect them (both nationally and locally) and how vulnerable they are to such risks. This helps motivate them to personally take action to prepare for the consequences of emergencies.
  • Work in partnership to complement the work of the local emergency responders and other organisations before, during and after an emergency.
  • Use existing skills, knowledge and resources to prepare for, and deal with, the consequences of emergencies.

The two documents below will help communities interested in improving their resilience.  The Getting Started Guide gives some in depth information around your first steps.  The template Community Emergency Response Plan provides key guidance and sets out common practice as to how a plan should be structured.  Of course there may be some elements that you need to know more about, when you consider a community plan.  Dorset Civil Contingencies Unit (Dorset CCU) can put you in contact with emergency planning professionals who can support you.  To get more information, just click on the About link at the top of this page.

Both these documents are Microsoft Word 2016 compatible.

Community involvement (or resilience) is about empowering individuals, businesses and community groups to:

  • take collective action to both increase their own resilience and that of others
  • come together to identify and support vulnerable individuals
  • take responsibility for the promotion of individual and business resilience

Supporting Communities is a key strategic objective agreed by the Dorset Local Resilience Forum Executive Group and is included as part of the Dorset LRF Business Plan 2016-2019.

The Dorset Community Resilience Group is responsible for overseeing the work supporting individuals, businesses and community groups and the Terms of Reference for this group can be found here.

Within Dorset a number of voluntary organisations offer support in times of need, this is in addition to the emergency services attending incidents.  You can learn more about those voluntary organisations by clicking here.

Supporting communities in Dorset, especially at the present time as the country responds to Covid19 is important to the agency's in Dorset.

Our colleagues at UK Health Security Agency have published a short information pack for communities that we hope will be useful.  You can download the pack via this link.

You can also sign up to Government updates in respect of Covid19 as well as see a useful video about effective handwashing here: (opens in a new window)

2022 Community Resilience Event

Catch up on all of the content, resources and presentations from our Community Resilience week, held earlier this year.

We were joined by a whole host of organisations and agencies across Dorset, including, the Met Office, The Environment Agency, Openreach, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks and many more...

All videos are available on the Dorset LRF's YouTube channel.

Home Emergency Action Plan (HEAP)

Our HEAP booklet is full of useful hints and tips that can help you to be better prepared if you suddenly need to leave your home without warning. 


Planning an event?

The Dorset LRF area hosts a variety of events throughout the year, both large and small. During last year (2020) there was considerable disruption and cancellation of planned events due to the restrictions in place in response to COVID-19.

If you wish to enquire about planning an event in the area administered by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council please email:

In respect of planning an event occurring in the area covered by Dorset Council please contact the Dorset Safety Advisory Group (SAG) via

Information on planning events is available on the following websites:

Clearing your path or driveway - 'the snow code'

Clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or public spaces can help prevent slips and falls.

Don't be put off clearing paths because you're afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. Follow the advice from the Department for Transport below to make sure you clear the pathway safely and effectively. And don't believe the myths - it's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.

For further information and handy advice, please visit the Department for Transport's webpages -

Keeping vulnerable people safe when electricity, gas or water supply fails »

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, Western Power Distribution, Bournemouth Water, South West Water and Wessex Water all have priority registers for vulnerable people. Click on the blue text above to learn more.

Susie the childminder educational books for children »

Our friends at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience forum and DEFRA funded the creation of Susie and her adventures. We are very grateful to them for this informative series of educational books. Don't forget to check Susie's very own website to read all her stories (opens the webpage).

Business in the Community »

Business in the Community (BITC) assists Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) across the UK affected by crises by matching their resources with identified local needs. BITC Emergency Volunteers are individuals recruited from BITC Member companies with an interest in risk and resilience. They enable BITC to provide more efficient, targeted and requested support for local resilience bodies and the communities they work with, helping communities to recover quicker from emergencies. Click the link above to download a handy factsheet.

Dorset Local Search and Rescue Commitee »

This link will tell you more about search and rescue organisations in Dorset.
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