Skip to main content

Civil Contingencies & Resilience

Explore subtopics

What are Civil Contingencies?

Civil contingencies are about preparing for and responding to a civil emergency, which is an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare or the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK. The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 sets out the legislative framework for responding to civil emergencies. Civil contingencies rely on preparedness and resilience by ensuring organisations and areas are prepared for emergencies and focused on developing the resilience and capability to respond to and withstand them.

The Emergency Co-ordination Centre (Wales) (ECC(W)) is a facility established by the Welsh government to gather and disseminate information in Wales on developing emergencies (with strong links with the other UK nations). It supports the Wales Civil Contingencies Committee and Welsh ministers in providing briefing and advice on emergencies.

What is Resilience?

Being resilient describes the ability of an individual, a community, or a system to withstand stress and challenges. It encompasses both the ability to adapt and survive adverse circumstances (such as environmental, societal, or economic shocks), or to cope and thrive given the challenges of everyday life. At an individual level, resilience has been linked to mental and physical health across the life course and the benefits of a resilient population has been suggested to extend beyond health to wider societal and economic outcomes.

(Source: Resilience: Understanding the interdependence between individuals and communities – Public Health Wales)

Resilience is a broad subject area; for example, the goal of a Resilient Wales, according to the The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, should focus on maintaining and enhancing “a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems”. However, many Public Service Boards often focus on areas such as recycling, flooding, cleanliness, fly-tipping and reducing emissions. 

Better equipping individuals, communities and systems to respond and positively adapt to adversity and change is a priority for sustainable societies and disaster recovery. Within the context of Civil Contingencies, “the term resilient communities is also frequently used in the context of disaster risk reduction (such as flooding) and the importance of creating appropriate infrastructures, systems and decision-making processes (WHO, 2020)”. Resilience partnerships (such as Wales Resilience Forum and Local Resilience Forums) bring agencies together to help strengthen preparedness and build collective capability within emergency planning.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and guidance provides the modern framework for emergency preparedness and resilience. Also see our topic on Terrorism and Extremism.

Useful Links

Neath Port Talbot Emergency Planning Team 

Visit the Website

Resilience: Understanding the interdependence between individuals and communities – Public Health Wales

Visit the Website

A councillor’s guide to civil emergencies | Local Government Association

Visit the Website

Help and Support

For victims, families and concerned people

There are four main UK emergency services – Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance, Police and Coastguard. In Wales this includes – South Wales Police; Dyfed Powys Police; Gwent Police; North Wales Police; Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service; North Wales Fire and Rescue Service; South Wales Fire and Rescue Service; Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust; British Transport Police and HM Coastguard.

In an emergency, call 999. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the Police textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

Other specialist life saving services include RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Wales Flying Medics, All Wales Urban Search and Rescue Team, and regional mountain rescue teams

Also see our Directory for Local Authority links and services.

What 3 words has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each square a
unique combination of three words. It’s an easy way to find and share exact locations in an emergency when street addresses are not accurate do not or exist.