Identify the nature of the problem in your area


Emergency services deployed during a flood © Environment Agency


Consider the vulnerabilities of neighbourhoods in your area using the Climate Just mapping tool as a starting point for understanding local community needs.


Identify the magnitude and likelihood of hazards associated with the changing climate, including flooding and heat-waves.

  • Consider how patterns of vulnerable groups and those who are less likely to engage with information about climate change compare with patterns of potential exposure to flooding and heat-waves
  • Draw on existing risk assessments, adaptation tools such as the UKCP09 projections (and the forthcoming UKCP18 which will update the UKCP09 projections over UK land areas and sea-level rise giving greater regional detail) and other local information (for example following the UKCIP Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) process). See this example of an LCLIP for Greater Manchester
  • Examine the impacts of extreme weather events including their location, timing, costs and the effectiveness of responses to record local experiences and support continuous learning.
  • Review the case studies in the Further Resources section to see what others have done.


Consult your local Flood Risk Management Strategy

The local flood risk management strategy (LFRMS) must identify measures for managing local flood risk, including benefit cost appraisal, funding proposals and an implementation plan. Whilst LLFAs are mandated to reduce local flood risk, they cannot do this alone by simply improving the highways and public realm infrastructure over which they have direct responsibility. They will need to work in partnership with other stakeholders who have relevant responsibilities and/or assets (including highways and planning authorities, Water and Sewerage Companies, Internal Drainage Boards, the Environment Agency and other local authorities) to deliver improvements. Successful delivery of LFRM measures will require innovative ways of working and funding, based on teamwork and trust. Collaborative working and joint funding across partner organisations will be key to maximising the return on investment in flood risk management. Defra’s partnership funding approach means that the ability of LLFAs to leverage contributions (both financial and in kind) from local partners could make the difference between locally-important projects going ahead or not.


Consider the following actions to help build community resilience through fostering community ties and collaborative working. The landscape of support groups has changed considerably over the last few years, but there are still several resources and networks available to support adaptation: 


The Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) within the Cabinet Office works in partnership to enhance the UK’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from, emergencies. It provides lots of information on community resilience, as well as tools and products that may help you develop your community emergency plan, including a useful guide, Preparing for Emergencies – Guide for Communities. It will help you think about how you can help your community be prepared for an emergency, including flooding.

  • Visit the CCS website for guidance and information on developing a community emergency plan – including a template.

Work with new and emerging local networks that could bring social and environmental agendas together. Local resilience fora established for emergency planning purposes could be an important resource where social and environmental representatives come together. While their focus and remit may be narrow, it is possible they could be active in wider thinking about climate resilience. In addition, the new public health authorities have a role in responding to the Heatwave Plan and Cold Weather Plan. They may be a good forum for bringing different ideas together on how to improve resilience to extreme weather.

  • See the Further Resources in Section 5 (above) for a list of local resilience forums across the UK 

Join knowledge hubs and other forums for sharing ideas and experiences. The Local Government Association (LGA) Knowledge Hub (run throug a small independent company since 2016) offers a free service for all public sector professionals. The hub is designed to be an online space for a range of practitioners to share information on a number of topics, including about how to reach out within your local area. In addition the local government association has produced the flood risk portal with more information on flood risk management for local authorities. 

  • See the Further Resources in Section 5 (above) for links to the Knowledge Hub and flood risk portal


Use existing guidance and resources to set up new partnerships.

  • The UK Cabinet Office’s Strategic National Framework on Community Resilience and related programme aims to help practitioners and communities to work together to improve resilience to climate impacts. It does this by providing a range of resources which can help to facilitate connections and break down some of the common barriers faced. Resources are intended to be consistent yet with sufficient flexibility to allow them to be made relevant to a range of local situations. Consider working with existing social networks in creating community resilience plans1. This can range from neighbourhood watch schemes to adult social clubs. Although in practice no two community resilience groups will be alike, general principles can still be applied.
  • See the Further Resources section for The Cabinet Office’s guidance and resources for setting up, working with, and maintaining community resilience groups.

  • The Environment Agency website contains a number of resources to support flood management. For example 'Who's responsible for flood and coastal erosion risk management', what they must do, and guidance on how to do it. It also contains guidance is for anyone involved in supporting communities or groups to improve their ability to plan for a flood, such as:
  • people active in the local community
  • leaders of community groups
  • schools, hospitals or residential care homes
  • local responders
  • people working in the voluntary sector
  • any other interested members of the community.

This flood plan guidance outlines things to consider and steps that you can take to inspire and involve residents, local communities and groups to work together to improve how you prepare for the risk of flooding.

  • See the Further Resources in Section 5 (above) for links to further information on Guide to Flood and Coastal Risk Management (FCRM), Community Engagement and Partnership Funding.


  • The National Flood Forum (NFF) already has over 160 affiliated community flood groups and can help with establishing one in your area. The NFF provides direct support to the public on a range of flood related issues, complementing that provided by the Environment Agency. They also provide a point of contact between communities and practitioners and offer training in relation to the work that they do.
    • See the Further Resources in Section 5 (above) for links to the National Flood Forum


  • Defra’s Flood Resilience Pathfinder projects are also providing further learning about partnership working, and further learning will be emerging as a result. Projects associated with flooding are currently ongoing. They aim to protect a range of properties from flooding and stress tangible and measurable outcomes, such as reductions in household insurance premiums. A set of projects on coastal resilience are already completed and all were shown to have improved community resilience to some extent.
    • See the Further Resources in Section 5 (above) for more information about the Pathfinder Projects





  1. Twigger-Ross, C., Coates, T., Deeming, H., Orr, P., Ramsden M. and Stafford, J. 2011. Community Resilience Research: Final Report on Theoretical research and analysis of Case Studies report to the Cabinet Office and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Collingwood Environmental Planning Ltd, London.