About this website and UK resilience

Gov.uk/prepare is a resource that was created to provide specific advice to the public on actions they can take to be more prepared for emergencies. It was developed by the Resilience Directorate of the Cabinet Office, in partnership with experts from across local and national government, the responder community, voluntary sector organisations and academia.

How the UK is organised in terms of resilience

The UK Government Resilience Framework sets out that resilience is a ‘whole of society’ endeavour. The UK Government provides leadership and takes action to help build the nation’s resilience, whilst also relying on a wide range of partners.

Most emergencies in the UK are handled at the local level by the emergency services, local authorities and other relevant organisations such as utility companies and transport operators. However, because of scale or complexity, some emergencies need a degree of central government coordination or support, with the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive taking the lead where appropriate in accordance with devolution agreements.

UK Government

In September 2022, the Cabinet Office reorganised its existing resilience functions into two units: The Resilience Directorate, which is responsible for preparedness and risk reduction and the Cabinet Office Briefing (COBR) Unit, which is responsible for crisis response. This reorganisation means the UK Government is able to coordinate and support emergencies while continuing to deliver long-term capability building and risk reduction.

The UK Government uses a Lead Government Department model to cover all phases of emergency planning, response, recovery and risk assessment. Lead Government Departments are responsible for leading work to identify serious risks and ensure that the right planning, response and recovery arrangements are in place.

Local Resilience Forums

Although the UK Government has an important role to play in assessing and planning for risks, the local level is critical to the UK’s resilience. The 38 Local Resilience Forums in England, the four Local Resilience Forums in Wales, three Regional Resilience Partnerships in Scotland and Emergency Preparedness Groups in Northern Ireland play a critical role in bringing local responders, such as the emergency services, together to plan for risks. Local resilience partners produce Community Risk Registers, which focus on the highest priority risks in each local area.

Devolved administrations

All four administrations of the United Kingdom share the same goal – to protect our citizens from the impacts of crises. Resilience encompasses both reserved and devolved matters. This means that some elements of the resilience system are overseen by the UK Government and it is important that the UK Government works in partnership with the devolved administrations, as reserved issues may impact devolved responsibilities. Significant elements of resilience are wholly the responsibilities of the devolved administrations.

Further information and resources

The UK Resilience Framework sets out how we will strengthen the systems and capabilities that support our collective resilience. For further information about how the Resilience Framework is implemented, visit the Resilience Framework: 2023 Implementation update

For more information about the Government’s assessment of the most serious risks facing the UK is presented in the National Risk Register.