Community Working Groups
How can you contribute to Community Resilience?
- Attend local working groups to strengthen public and private sector relationships.
- These may be held after a crisis has occurred, or in preparation for the future.
- You can influence spending and improvement programs in your community.
Feedback from BCP Builder Community on LinkedIn:
Coordination of Volunteered Disaster Response
My experience of businesses assisting in community incidents in the United Kingdom has been one of great capability meeting flawed or absent coordination.
Grenfell Tower Fire
- The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy sadly springs to mind, as an example. The traumatized survivors, who had literally lost everything, ended up being helped by uncoordinated volunteers and local charities, in the face of what seemed to be a lack of response and leadership from the local council.
- There is always a trail of compounding errors which result in tragedies such as these.
- Large supermarket chains did what they could to bring to bear the immense logistical capability of their organizations to assist. Unfortunately, they soon realized there was a good chance they would end up getting in the way.
- This comment reminded me of some great examples I read in Kelly McKinney‘s book from his time at Red Cross. It is a real challenge to coordinate people following such a traumatic event and it’s those who are already on the poverty line who need the most help. Which makes it even more awful when the help doesn’t arrive due to coordination issues.
- There was major flooding in the South West of the United Kingdom a number of years ago. The major retailers were preparing to send lorry loads of bottled water, and other vital supplies to people who had lost their homes. However, they could not find out who was in charge, and where the supplies should have been headed. In the end they were told to wait a few days until the first responders had sorted things out.
- Surely, the displaced public would have wanted water/ clothing as soon as possible, not in a few days.
- The response when it eventually came was incredible with fire crews from around the country lending equipment, farmers sending animal food and retailers chipping in too.
- However, it took days and days before that was coordinated sufficiently enough to make an impact.
- There needs to be a business and volunteer emergency coordinator in local councils.
- Also, that incident alone underlines again the fact that your planning needs to be self sufficient. Waiting for the cavalry to rescue you is not really an option if the intention is to survive the storm in a good state.
Community Resilience Plans
- A Community Resilience Plan should include local businesses who can help in an emergency. These may be large companies or several very small (one person or family businesses).
- A good plan will bring together in one place contact details for those who can assist – or may need assistance.
- It is the process that results in the plan that is as important as the plan itself because it requires engagement with all those included in the plan. That in itself raises awareness and helps buy-in to the concept.
- You could have a formal committee within each region to organize the work at any crisis. It will be very challenging to try and respond on an ad hoc basis to every incident.
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.