Wealden District Council
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Community Resilience

The emergency services have to prioritise those in greatest need during an emergency. Communities may need to rely on their own resources until professional help arrives.

Many communities spontaneously help one another in times of need. But communities who have prepared in advance are able to cope better and recover faster. If a community is prepared for possible risks, you can reduce the impact on your homes and businesses.

Those communities that were prepared recovered faster than those that had undertaken no planning. A community plan will help all volunteers know their roles when there’s an emergency. It can be shared with emergency services so that everyone can work together. Communities can also prepare their own emergency plans and can be found on the East Sussex County Council website

Sussex Resilience Forum

Local resilience forums bring together emergency services, councils, utilities and other essential public and voluntary services to work in partnership to support the local community during incidents and emergencies. Through the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), organisations work together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.

Support for Vulnerable Residents

In the case of a power cut or a water outage you may be eligible to sign up for the Priority Service Register through your utilities providers (South East Water provide clean drinking water, Southern Water provide sewerage services and UK Power Networks oversee our power supplies.)

If you sign up you can access extra help during an emergency. This register is a free service provided by suppliers and network operators. Each supplier maintains its own register, and you must apply through your supplier. You also can receive more information about the Priority Services Register through Ofgem or Citizens Advice Bureau.

You will normally get priority services if your energy company classes you as ‘vulnerable’. This might include the following:

  • Disabled or have a long-term health condition
  • Recovering from an injury
  • Mental health problems
  • Do not speak or read English well
  • Children under 5 or are pregnant
  • Reached your State Pension age

The type of support you can receive will depend on your circumstances and what is offered by the supplier. Help that you could receive includes:

  • Advance notice of planned disruptions (e.g., planned maintenance work by your water / gas supplier)

Priority help in the event of a utility disruption (e.g., power, electricity or gas cut) 

  • Password scheme so you can easily identify callers and visitors from the utility company
  • Bills and account information in accessible formats such as large print, Braille, and audio
  • Meter readings
  • Nomination of an authorised friend / family member / third party person to support account management
  • Arrangements to ensure that it is safe and practical for you to use your prepayment meter