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What it means to be Interested

Be non-prestigious and treat community groups and citizens as potentially crucial resources. Let them know that you wish to be up to date on the quantity and nature of the community groups in your jurisdiction. Demonstrate your interest by inviting and visiting them to describe and explain the specific needs and vulnerabilities that have been identified within your local community. Be open and transparent about what these specific needs and vulnerabilities are in your jurisdiction or geographical area. Don´t be prestigious but instead ask citizens for help where help is needed.

  • Invite and visit community groups in order to inform them about local risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Volunteers can be found in already existing groups based on various hobbies and interests.
  • Relate to what motivates people when offering them tasks in crisis management.
  • Use ICT and social media in an interactive way by responding to people’s inquiries and ideas.
  • Be attentive so that key individuals and resources are not neglected.
  • Think of diverse community groups and citizens as important information sources in a crisis.

Guidelines to show Interest

Municipal representatives along with other local authorities and professionals (e.g. police, rescue services and medical care) are in position to, and would certainly benefit from reinforcing people’s feeling of belonging and thereby boosting the collective responsibility for societal safety and security. Municipal safety coordinators, for example, could do this by inviting and visiting community groups to inform them about specific needs and vulnerabilities in the local community or jurisdiction. Enduring relations could be maintained through an increased and well considered use of social media and other ICT tools. Strong connections between municipal actors and voluntary groups would make it possible to single out key individuals from such voluntary groups along with other non-organized individuals in the local community possessing skills and competences of crucial importance for building efficient response structures. It can be assumed that an abundance of citizen-based resources exist that need only to be “drawn out” and “drawn upon”.

Furthermore, by focusing on already existing volunteer groups and NGOs in the community it should be easy to find volunteers interested in crisis management. By connecting to people’s existing interests, one can also motivate them to engage in volunteer crisis management. For example, many people are already engaged, in particular, in the wellbeing of children, young people and elderly people.

Community approach – involving people in crisis management