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Prepare your community for emergencies

Surrey Prepared is all about stronger communities and encouraging people to work together to plan and prepare for potential emergencies. We call this 'community resilience', and any individual or group can be part of it.

Where to start

Why it's important

Emergencies happen. Your local emergency responders (the emergency services, health and care providers, your local and county council, the Environment Agency and utility companies) will always have to prioritise those in greatest need during an emergency, especially where life is in danger.

However there may be times when individuals and communities may need to rely on their own resources to ensure they are able to cope with the consequences of an emergency. That's where community resilience comes in. It complements the response of the emergency services, enabling communities to identify and work with local resources and expertise to protect the most vulnerable.

You may wish to ask those who might benefit from extra help, such as with clearing snow, or putting up flood defences, if they would like to be on a list of people requiring assistance - template provided below. However if your community does choose to keep a list of people wishing help in emergencies, you must ask the individual's permission, ensure the list is always kept confidentially, and never released to others except at the request of identity confirmed emergency response professionals in an emergency - such as the Police for example.

Check out our presentation on how community resilience fits into wider emergency management.

Benefits of community resilience

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. This activity is most successful when in partnership with local responders.

Recovering from an emergency can be a complex and long-running process but by building on existing local relationships and networks, using local knowledge and preparing for risks, your community will be better equipped to recover in the long-term.

Resilience for businesses

Community resilience may also include local businesses. If you also have a business check out the guidance on our business continuity pages and also from the Business Emergency Resilience Group, initiative of HRH Prince of Wales.

Resilience for young people

Communities include young people too, and it's important that they know what to do.

Files available to download

  • Surrey Community Emergency Plan Template (600.2 KB)
    A template document helping you draw up a Community Emergency Plan including contact lists, how to set up a Community Emergency Team, an emergency actions list and a confidential vulnerable persons list (Word version)
  • Emergency Assistance List (20.5 KB)
    Optional confidential list of people requiring extra assistance in an incident. Must be kept securely and confidentially if filled in by a community, and not shared unless at request of identity confirmed Police or other emergency responders.
  • How to be prepared for local emergencies guide (143.8 KB)
    A short guide to help you prepare for emergencies, featuring a list of emergency contact numbers. Topics covered include flooding; severe weather; wildfires; power, gas and water loss; and evacuation