Renfrewshire Council

Prepare your community for emergencies

In the event of an emergency, what you can do in your community, Community Risk Register, Community Resilience Plan, British Red Cross Emergency app, Facebook safety check.

In the event of an emergency

In the event of an emergency, the resources, knowledge and networks of local communities can be very helpful. 

The emergency services may be unable to assist or possibly not able to reach the scene of an emergency immediately. In this instance, the initial response may depend on the local community.

This isn't about doing the job of the emergency services, but supporting your community and those in it by making preparations and using the skills and knowledge that the community has available.

What you can do in your community

Emergencies affect people in different ways as they disrupt people's lives and can affect the way people cope. When living in a community, it is a good idea to think about the people in your surrounding area.

You could:

  • keep a list of phone numbers of vulnerable neighbours and relatives
  • visit older neighbours and ensure that they have what they need and know you are there if they need support
  • offer help with shopping or any other essential tasks
  • if there is ice or snow, clear it from pathways around your home and your neighbour's home
  • teach younger people to help the older generation.

Community Risk Register

All work done by the community should be safe and appropriate. The Government does not expect the public to take unnecessary risks during an emergency.

A Community Risk Register is designed to inform the general public of a range of potentially disruptive events to the local area based on current risk assessments.

The inclusion of a particular risk in the register does not necessarily indicate that it is expected that the risk will lead to an actual event or occurrence, or occur at the scale described.

Fire Scotland: Community Risk Register.

Community Resilience Plan

A Community Resilience Plan is a way for your community to come together to think about what it could do to be prepared for an emergency and to assist the emergency services should an emergency occur.

Local people will be key to cascading information around communities during an emergency situation.

The Civil Contingencies Service can provide advice and guidance for your community group to help with this so get in touch by emailing

For further information on personal and community resilience, visit the Ready Scotland website.

British Red Cross Emergency app

The free British Red Cross Emergency app can help you deal with emergencies and is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

It allows you to:

  • set up emergency alerts for your area. This includes severe weather warnings
  • add the location of family and friends. You'll be able to let them know if a warning is issued for their area or when an emergency strikes, and check they're safe
  • check the current UK terrorism threat level.

In addition to alerts, the app also features:

  • a personal alarm and strobe light to attract attention in emergencies
  • a location finder, so you'll always know exactly where you are
  • an 'I'm safe' notification that can be sent to your friends and family
  • clear and practical advice on what to do in a variety of emergency situations.

Facebook safety check

If it looks like you may be near a major crisis, Facebook will ask if you're safe.

If you're ok, click or tap the "I'm Safe" button to let friends and loved ones know straight away.

Facebook will let you know when friends say that they're safe. You can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster.

Find out more: Facebook Safety check