Community Resilience

The Government encourages communities to maintain their own resilience plans to add value to those of the Local Authorities and Emergency Services which handle civil emergencies.  In Rye there is a Resilience Team found from volunteers with relevant experience, known as REACT (Rye Emergency Action Community Team).  This maintains a contingency plan found below. The Team is always looking for volunteers to help routinely and in an emergency.  Please contact through the Town Hall of via the Facebook page at @ryeact 


The Rye Community Emergency Plan (Part 1)

Version: v5 March 2020, due for review in Autumn 2020. Drated by Rye Emergency Action Team (REACT) for Rye Town Council.

1. The response to civil emergencies is handled by the Emergency Response Services, Local Authorities (in particular Rother District Council), Utilities and Voluntary Agencies using an integrated Emergency Management process, usually led by the Police. The UK Resilience website(1) explains government policy on the preparedness for and the response to civil emergencies. Any response will be governed by contingency plans which are maintained within the Sussex Local Resilience Forum. Rother DC provides the local expertise on these plans.

2. Risks affecting the community are listed in the Sussex Community Risk Register(2). Typical contingencies for which this plan might apply are: serious widespread flooding, the impact of severe weather, a major local industrial incident, a human pandemic, widespread animal disease, loss of key utilities, or where emergency responders may be over-committed or unable to deploy sufficient resources to Rye in the short term.

3. There is no statutory responsibility for town councils to plan for an emergency response; however the Government encourages communities to consider risks and to make simple “self help” contingency plans.

4. This plan sets out the contribution by the local community to Rother District Council in any major emergency response by calling for volunteers, locating resources, providing local knowledge and aiding communication.

The Community Emergency Plan

5. The plan is in two parts: PART 1 is the overview and is drafted to be distributed widely so that stakeholders and the public are aware. PART 2 provides all the detailed information – contacts, check-sheets, resource lists and emergency equipment – and is retained in Rye Town Hall, where a Control Point would be activated. To conform to the Data Protection Act, information on any individual in the plan is only recorded with consent and then divulged to others on a “need to know basis”. Each version of the plan will be clearly marked to ensure that the most up to date version is in use.

6. Importantly, this plan represents the start of an ongoing process, which involves progressive stages of consultation, periodic briefings and review. The objectives are to:
– consider an outline of a typical response process;
– set out the policy, process and structure for community action in a major emergency;
– Identify those areas, where the community can best add value to any response (communication, local knowledge and local resources);
– indicate other reference material


Ensure that the Emergency Services (dial 999) have been contacted.

7. In PART 2 there is a flow chart, which summarises the response process used by the Emergency Responders and Local Authorities. The notification of an emergency may come from any source: from the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, the media, or from a member of the community. Initial calls will probably come to Rye Town Councillors.

Whoever is notified, CONTACT a REACT(3) member.

8. Once notified, REACT consult(4) and decide whether to initiate the cascade process to call volunteers to the Control Point (Rye Town Hall); agree an Emergency Coordinator (EC) and then to cascade the callout to all or some of the Volunteer Wardens in the ten Rye zones as below(5). These wardens provide the structure for further action in the community.

Rye Zones (6)

1. Citadel                                               2. Cinque Ports area to Love Lane
3. Rock Channel area                         4. Winchelsea and New Winchelsea Rd
5. Kings Avenue                                  6. Tilling Green estate
7. Udimore Rd and Cadborough     8. Rye Hill
9. Military Rd and North Salts        10. Valley Park

9. If REACT decides to activate a call out, then volunteers should dress suitably for the weather conditions and gather as below:
REACT: to Rye Town Hall – the Control Point, where there is emergency equipment. Tasks are to communicate and coordinate the implementation of the plan; to establish links to the Rye Zones, to Rother DC, Emergency Services and to adjacent parishes; to ensure duty of care over other volunteers.
Zone Volunteer Wardens: to home and then to contact Rye Town Hall. Tasks are to act as the communication and coordination focus in their respective zones.

10. In the event that Rye Town Hall is inaccessible for the REACT control point then Rye Art Gallery (107 High Street) is available as the alternative Control Point. PART 2 records the Trustees, who hold the keys.


Local risks: hazards and threats

11. PART 2 lists those who have the expertise and knowledge to advise on the local impacts of the Sussex high risks in the Community Risk Register.


12. PART 2 identifies the communications equipment (means) and processes for handling Key information (messages). These could be used to help inform the community and adjacent parishes, both during and after an event. The Local Authorities and Emergency Service Responders will develop public information and media messages and deliver them; however REACT could exploit its ability to cascade these messages via the volunteer warden system in the zones to add value to the community information effort.

Skills within th community

13. PART 2 lists volunteers within the community who have specialist skills and have previously indicated that are prepared to assist, such as medical (qualified first aiders), chemists, clergy or
other faith group leaders, translators/interpreters, vets, plant operators and radio amateurs.

14. PART 2 provides the details of community groups such as the Bonfire Boys, RBL volunteers, St John Ambulance, Sea Cadets, WRVS and WI, flood wardens, Neighbourhood Watch and other voluntary groups.

15. PART 2 addresses individual requirements for medical cover, personal liability insurance, protective clothing (PPE), emergency equipment and any funding issues.

Resources within the community (including temporary shelters)

16. PART 2 lists the specialist resources within the community, which might be available to Rother District Council and the Emergency Services. These resources are categorised into functional groups, such as shelter accommodation, communications, heavy lift equipment, plant, emergency lighting, generators, pumps, sand, sand bags, timber, transport and boats. The records show key holders, capability and capacity.

Vulnerable people in the community

17. PART 2 identifies volunteers who know the locations of vulnerable people within the community, such as the elderly, infirm, less abled and those with special needs.

Key contact details

18. PART 2 provides a comprehensive list of contacts. An extract is below.

Organisation                                          Role                                                    Working Hours                                    24hr contact
Emergency Services                                    Response                                               999                                                                999
Rother DC                                                     Emergency Planners                           01424 787878                                             01424 787868
Environment Agency                                  Floodline                                               0845 988 1188                                  
Environment Agency                                  Incident Hotline                                  0800 807060                                              0800 807060
NHS Direct                                                   Medical Advice                                     0845 4647                                                   0845 4647
Transco                                                          Gas                                                         0800 111 999                                              0800 111 999
Electricity                                                     Utilities                                                  0800 783 8866                                          0800 783 8866
Water                                                            Utilities                                                   0800 731 1933                                           0800 731 1933
Neighbouring Parish Councils            Local Authorities                             Via Rye Town Hall 01797 223902

 (1) UK Resilience by the Cabinet Office or through Rye Town Hall (2) Sussex LRF website or through Rye Town Hall.  (3) REACT is the Rye Emergency Action Team comprising community volunteers with appropriate expertise.  (4) REACT acts in emergencies for Rye Town Council and contributes to Rother DC capabilities.  (5) Map is available from Rye Town Hall.  (6) For the purpose of the structure of this plan, Rye is divided into zones, each with its own Volunteer Wardens.

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