The Big Chill

Scenario: It has been some years since we experienced a hard winter in the East Midlands. However, forecasters are predicting a frosty autumn and winter for 2016/17, with colder than usual temperatures and snow associated with an incoming La Niña weather system.

Severe winter storms are very disruptive to all forms of transport, can result in power outages and are often accompanied by very cold temperatures. Many people struggle to get to work and this can result in school closures and the suspension of deliveries and of caring services.

Imagine that you live in a community that has been cut off by snow storms. Reports suggest that the same conditions are widespread and that the severe weather is expected to continue for some days. A section of the community has also experienced a power cut and no indication of reconnection times has been received. The local primary school has announced it will be closed until further notice as teachers are unable to travel to work and news footage suggests that all parts of the county are experiencing similar conditions or worse.

Suggested duration: 1 hour +

Suggested format: Split into 3 groups for Part 1, each group to consider one of the suggested areas
Group feed back
Whole group discussion for Part 2


Supporting Materials

Part 1

From a community perspective consider the following:

  • Who might need assistance in these circumstances
  • What resources exist (municipal or privately owned) which could be useful
  • Which local individuals and groups would lead and participate in taking action to assist those needing help

Feed back to the group.

Supporting Materials

Part 2

Discuss how the steps in putting together a Community Response Plan could be achieved in your community.

Supporting Materials


Part 3

Topics for general discussion:

  • What does the phrase “Community Resilience” mean to the members of the group?
  • What actions can residents take to ensure they are prepared for emergencies within their own households?
  • Is there any overlap between community response planning and other projects and initiatives going on within the community?