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Town and Parish Council

Wesley Parish Council Noticeboard

Benefits of community emergency planning to your community

By planning in advance your town or parish council could help coordinate local response activities. Being prepared and able to respond to an emergency can often help people recover more quickly. This illustrates how successful community resilience can be and why over 60% of our communities are already engaged in this planning.

Preparing a Community Emergency Plan

Preparing a Community Emergency Plan can;

  • Help your community to cope better with a disruptive event, particularly if emergency services are overloaded
  • Reassure your community and give confidence in your organisation
  • Improve, organise and co-ordinate your community response to an emergency.
  • Provide your community and the services with a local point of contact and assistance
  • Help keep your community informed so people know what to do and are able to respond, especially in those first few critical hours following an incident
  • Help those that are vulnerable by providing care, support, information or practical help
  • Representing the community and assisting with community recovery.

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Build up your Emergency Plan

There are four different levels of community emergency plan and templates are available to download below to help you build your plan. You can pick the one that feels right for your community, or you can start small and build up.

We have written a community emergency plan guidance document to help you with the process of completing an emergency plan template. 

Community emergency plan guidance document (word kb opens in new window)

Level 1

Gather some key community contact numbers and share them with the emergency services.

Community emergency plan level 1 (word 203kb opens in new window) 

Level 2

Gather key contact numbers, identify local resources like a village hall, and think about preparing an emergency box.

Community emergency plan level 2 (word 255kb opens in new window)

Level 3

Get key contact numbers, identify local resources and prepare an emergency box, identify people that might be vulnerable in an emergency, and people with skills and resources that would be willing to help in an emergency.

Community emergency plan level 3 (word 365kb opens in new window)

Level 4

A joint plan. Think about writing a joint plan with a neighbouring parish, neighbourhood watch etc

Community emergency plan level 4 (word 168kb opens in new window)

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Community emergency planning learning space

To assist you in writing and using your emergency plan we've created a number of e-learning modules. These modules provided more information on what to include within your emergency and how to complete each template.

There are also modules explaining how to run your incident room and emergency shelter during an incident. Including what equipment and resources you'll need and tips on best practice.

We have also put together a module explaining how to organise and run an exercise of your community emergency plan. It sets out the keys steps that need to be taken when arranging a test of the plan and answers some common questions about exercising.

You can find the learning space here

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Asking for assistance from the community

“It’s always good to have help” this statement is especially true during an emergency. A community emergency plan works best when you can call on others to provide assistance or resources. This can range from somebody checking on vulnerable residents during periods of snow to a business donating equipment or offering other services which could be utilised to benefit the whole community during an event.

The most common feedback from parish councils we hear is that they have trouble going out to ask for volunteers and assistance from the community.  For this reason we’ve produced three standard letter templates to help you.

Simply add your own parish council details to the letter and print off. They can then be delivered to residents, businesses and other voluntary groups. The letter asks for contact details and the skills or services the volunteer can provide. Once the letter has been return, they can be collated and you’ll have a ready resource of help should an emergency occur.

Standard letter for requesting volunteers (word 660kb opens in new window)

Standard letter for requesting assistance from businesses (word 656kb opens in new window)

Standard letter for requesting assistance from voluntary groups (word 657kb opens in new window)

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Promoting your Community Emergency Plan and its key messages

After you have produced your emergency plan it's a great idea to promote it and the key messages within it. To help you promote your plan within the local community and the key messages, we have produced a set of advertisement posters which can be placed in key locations or included within your newsletter. We have produced the adverts in three different sizes. An A5 one which is good for putting on display in the local shop, doctors surgery or noticeboard and two others that are smaller in size (65mm x 100mm and 58mm x 100mm) which are ideal for newsletters or your council website.

You can request an advert from the set using our online contact form or by emailing us at

A5 Key message adverts (pdf 1mb opens in new window)

65mm x 100mm Key message adverts (pdf 1mb opens in new window)

58mm x 100mm Key message adverts (pdf 1mb opens in new window)

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Parish and Town Council plan templates and guidance

Use the templates and guidance below to produce an emergency plan to mitigate the affects of an emergency on your community.


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You can view a selection of informative videos below to help you prepare your Community Emergency Plan.

Overview of an emergency – What is a major emergency?

This video outlines what exactly is a major emergency and how responding organisations prepare before and work together during an emergency.

Running emergency shelters – How to run a community emergency shelter

A video guide to running a community emergency shelter during an emergency, with tips and guidance on how to provide the best facility.

How to test your community emergency plan

This video contains information on how to test your community emergency plan including running a basic tabletop exercise.

Case for having a plan - Reasons to create a community emergency plan

This video sets out the reasons why it is a great idea for a community to have an emergency plan prepared and how that plan improves the response to an emergency.

Working from an incident room – How to run an incident room

This video gives details on how to manage a community incident room during an emergency, with tips and guidance to achieve the best result.