Assessing the new National Resilience Framework
Written by Phil Emonson | Emergency Planning Lead

In December 2022, the UK government published its inaugural National Resilience Framework, officially making resilience a national endeavour. Recent emergencies and crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread flooding and drought, have brought into sharp focus the manner in which the UK prepares and responds to threats. But what are these threats and how are we addressing them?

One of the most pressing risks we face is from climate change, leading to more extreme weather and twin risks from more frequent floods and droughts. In recent years we have witnessed widespread flooding caused by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Arwen. Whilst record temperatures in summer 2022 saw large parts of the UK move into drought status leading to pressures on water supply, agriculture and the environment.

Achieving resilience to changes in our climate requires a broad range of integrated actions. Recognising this, we have already developed our own resilience to climate change framework that defines activities that raise awareness of risk, enable adaptation, facilitate effective response and accelerate recovery.

Awareness of risk is the first step for any individual, community or business in improving their resilience. The recent Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder projects in the South West and Yorkshire are an example of this. By developing a suite of tools and resources, we were able to effectively raise awareness and increase understanding of the options available to help property owners adapt and manage their flood risk.

To explore adaptation further, the Defra-funded £150 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP) is supporting 25 local authority-led projects across England to develop, test and implement innovative flood risk management options. Over the course of the six-year programme the various outputs will inform and develop future flood risk management policy and we’re proud to be supporting this across 12 different FCRIP projects.

In order to test preparedness, response and recovery, incident management training and exercising has become a key tool. We have been promoting this for over 20 years by supporting Category 1 and 2 responders through the training and exercising of their flood and extreme weather plans and procedures. By covering everything from table-top drought exercises to flood response exercises and emergency planning skills training, our teams are helping improve preparedness and build resilience amongst responding agencies.

The new UK Resilience Framework is both timely and welcome, and our specialist resilience teams at JBA look forward to contributing, supporting our clients meet their own ambitions and leading in society’s pursuit for resilience to climate change.

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Did you know

The Resilience Framework is based on three core principals; a developed and shared understanding of the risks we face, a greater emphasis on preparation and prevention and ensuring resilience is a 'whole of society' endeavour.

What is The UK Government Resilience Framework?

The Resilience Framework articulates the government’s plan to strengthen the systems and capabilities that underpin the UK’s resilience to all civil contingency risks, with priorities in the following areas:

  1. Greater transparency on the risks we face so that businesses, charities, Individuals and all levels of government can prepare
  2. Protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and helping responders to target support effectively before, during and after emergencies
  3. Strengthening accountability on resilience both within government and externally, which includes an annual statement to Parliament on civil contingency risk and resilience
  4. Ensuring Local Resilience Forums have the resources, capacity, information and capability needed to plan for and respond to the risks we face
  5. Incentivising and supporting businesses, including operators of Critical National Infrastructure, to strengthen their resilience to real world risks
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