Support » Testing & Review

However good the Plan and however helpful the group found the training sessions to be, there’s nothing like a ‘rehearsal’ to make sure volunteer wardens feel confident in tackling the real thing. Severe weather does not respect daylight hours and volunteers can feel quite disorientated working for the first time in darkness, wind and rain. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure that PPE and communication systems are working well.

You might start with a desktop exercise. Sometimes members of the local fire and rescue service, local authority civil contingencies department and Environment Agency are prepared to come along and help with scenarios to test your Plan. This is an opportunity to fine tune what you’ll be doing and communicate your Plan to the wider emergency response sector who will support your community in an incident.

Community Emergency Plan Exercise Template

An example of how you might run such a session with your group.

Download (DOCX)

Once the group has a clear idea of how to respond and you are confident that the appropriate PPE is in place, set a date to run through the Plan as a ‘live’ exercise with all group members working out in their areas of the community in darkness. Many groups time this exercise for the autumn when the evenings are drawing in and before the winter weather sets in. Check the forecast and be brave – it makes a difference to do it when it’s actually raining!

Finally, make sure you keep your Plan as a living document. Review it at least once a year with your group and take into account any new risks that may have emerged.

Annual Review Checklist

Here’s a checklist that you might find useful for doing an annual review with the group.

Download (DOC)
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