How can having a local emergency planning committee improve resilience in rural communities?
- Communication, establish relationships and maintain contact details
- Supply chain, speed up the delivery of aid through a local emergency planning committee
Feedback from BCP Builder Community on LinkedIn:
Local Emergency Planning Committee
- There have been a number of heartbreaking scenarios over the years where plenty of aid has been available. However, there was no coordinating body to get that aid to those who need it.
- Establishing a local emergency planning committee would involve coordination of both volunteers and the delivery of services and supplies. This would be arranged by establishing a coordination cell staffed by both the emergency services and voluntary agency representatives ahead of an emergency.
- Truly isolated communities need to consider their own capacities and capabilities to be self-supportive and sufficient for a period of time. This is where community resilience planning really comes in based on the strengths and assets within a community.
- Another consideration, when resilience planning for communities in conflict environments is the acceptance of the NGO or humanitarian organisation. This acceptance (or not) can have a huge impact on the safety of staff and therefore their ability to deliver aid where it is most needed.
- When it comes to emergency situations in other than developed countries, communication is most important. These communities need to work with local governments to plan and implement emergency communication.
- We can’t always rely on telecommunications working. In this respect it is important to be cautious of relying on the internet and cell phone networks for coordination. Rural locations often do not have reliable internet or cell phone in normal times.
- The most important elements of preparation are back up power supplies and communications. These allow emergency services and aid to communicate directly with the impacted areas.
- The demise of copper landline telecommunications in favor of VOIP has reduced our level of resilience in this space. We know that the mobile network will collapse within hours of an event, yet most of our lines of communication are centered around this asset. Some lateral thinking could potentially utilize drones for communication.
- Emergency data embedded into smartphones will bridge the deadly silence of internet outages.
Faith based organizations
- Local training for Faith based organizations is an excellent option.
- There is a new app called Alaris which is aimed at providing advice to places of worship.
- WhatsApp Groups work really well for NGO’s; Faith Based Organizations and the Private Sector.. However, for those with a bigger budget an Emergency Notification System would be much better.
- For rural communities where lives as well as businesses may be at stake and where the first responders may take hours or days to get to you. A good start would be to identify the top 5 likely impacting high risk scenarios.
- Flooding, hurricane, tornado, wild fire, earthquake etc. and have a fully worked through plan to mitigate their impact.
- The thinking and planning necessary for the top 5 will give you enough options for an unexpected scenario until help arrives. This help will hopefully be implemented and coordinated by local and central government.
- For individuals, families and communities in rural or remote locations there needs to be a heightened level or self reliance and capability. If you are depending on the cavalry saving you, you might have a long wait on your hands.
- How quickly can you return to business as usual after a disruptive incident?
- List the threats – weather, fire, unavailable access, negligence, toxic chemicals,dependencies and single points of failure.
- Is there any legislation that will help to support the establishment of your group?
If you want to increase your Organizational Resilience, start with preparing a Business Continuity Plan and check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates.