Community Resilience Framework for Emergency Management

The Community Resilience Framework for Emergency Management in Victoria provides the foundation upon which the sector’s strategies, programs and actions can be planned, integrated and implemented, building safer and more resilient communities.

The Framework has two focuses. The first is community, which is at the centre of all emergency management activity in Victoria. The second is the emergency management sector itself. 

By using this Framework, organisations will be better placed to connect and work together with communities to build the collective capacity and capability to better manage long chronic stresses, while better preparing to anticipate, cope with and recover from acute shocks.

At the heart of the Framework are seven resilience characteristics that emergency managers should aim to strengthen and encourage in communities.  

These characteristics are: 

  • Connected, inclusive and empowered; 
  • Sustainable built and natural environment; 
  • Reflective and aware; 
  • Culturally rich and vibrant; 
  • Safe and well; 
  • Dynamic and diverse local economy; and 
  • Democratic and engaged.

These characteristics are not immediately “emergency” related but reflect instead the qualities that enable all sorts of communities to avoid or manage emergencies and to enable them to rebuild and re-establish when necessary. 

The key aim of this Framework is to support the Victorian emergency management sector to align and advance investment toward achieving a shared vision for resilience.  

Alignment with this Framework will support all emergency management organisations in Victoria to:

  • Participate in achieving the vision of safer more resilient communities;
  • Realign policies, programs and activities to help build and strengthen community resilience characteristics;
  • Empower staff, volunteers and key partners to better understand and participate in achieving the shared vision;
  • Work together to adopt and use Community Based Emergency Management;
  • Improve connection and collaboration within organisations involved in emergency management and between these organisations and the community;
  • Improve the capacity of emergency managers and their organisations to connect with communities and support them to better understand shocks and stresses and take action before, during and after emergencies.
  • Plan for and support resilient recovery through connecting community systems and networks to support wellbeing, liveability, sustainability and viability outcomes after an emergency;
  • Utilise land use planning systems to reduce, as far as is practicable, community exposure to unreasonable risks from known hazards;
  • Integrate planning and implementation to reduce risks in a measured and meaningful way.

The Framework encourages organisations to consider how their actions contribute to the seven broad community resilience characteristics. Each of the seven characteristics is made up of three to five components. These highlight the wide range of factors that contribute to each. For each component, potential indicators have been proposed. 

However, there is no “one-size fits all” answer to what it is to be a resilient community or how organisations can collaborate and take actions to reduce the consequences of emergencies. One resilient organisation and community will look different to another. Each will have different social and settlement qualities, risks, services, leadership networks and characteristics – but communities will often have common elements that work together to build resilience.

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