Stage 3

 Reference Sheet GG 

Contingency planning

A hazard or threat doesn’t wait until a resilience plan is complete. It can strike the community at any time, so it is important to discuss contingency planning with communities that are committed to building their resilience.

A simple contingency plan should cover the priority hazards or threats that have a high potential of striking the community. For this, community leaders can use their notes or records of the hazard identification and characterization activity they did in Stage 2, Step 3.

Explain that contingency planning starts with imagining scenarios of what could happen if one or more of these hazards occurred. Using the top three hazards from Stage 2, Step 3, support the community leaders and all others willing to contribute their time and energy to fill out a table like the one below. Encourage them to use their experience, which can be complemented with technical advice, e.g., from meteorological services regarding likelihood and magnitude.

rating 1‑5
Potential scope
(geography, numbers
affected, duration)
Community capacities
Project gaps



41 disabled and elderly people could be at risk of death or injury. If new extreme flood event occurs, it is likely that an additional 6 households with elderly people would be at risk.

70 houses could be partly destroyed (+10 in more extreme flood).

55 hectares of crops could be destroyed (61 likely in the case of an extreme event).

Community has identified a safe evacuation space on higher ground. Fifteen of the disabled and elderly could easily be evacuated by their relatives.

Not everyone may be aware and receive early warning information.
26 disabled and elderly people could require evacuation support.

45 houses could be repaired by the owners.

25 houses are owned by poor families who could require support for repair.

50% of the owners have alternative income sources.

50% of the owners might face food shortages for 6 months.

See the table

Now support community leaders to facilitate the preparation of a simple community contingency plan based on the gaps identified in the above table. Explain that the contingency plan means deciding what to do in advance of the hazard or scenario occurring.

First, remind them to look back at the information identified in Stage 2, Step 3, on early warning signs, lead time, duration, frequency and period of occurrence for each hazard. 

Next, encourage them to engage groups of different demographics (women, youth, farmers, etc.) to carry out the participatory exercise Ready! Location specific disaster preparedness 101 to gather ideas from all parts of the community. 


Finally, support the leaders to share the ideas in a community‑wide meeting or with representatives of the subgroups, and seek consensus on the most realistic and appropriate, including considering any impact on the environment. Help them to record their agreements in a table like this one: 

Specific activities
Time required
Resources required
Roles and


26 disabled
and elderly
before the hazard

1. Check early warning information.
2. Identify evacuation route and place, and alternative options in case flood levels are more extreme.
3. Prepare shelter, food and household items at evacuation place.
4. Disseminate early warning to all concerned.
5. Evacuate people.

1. Regularly.
2. Before start of rainy season.
3. One week before flood or as soon as warning received.
4. and 5. 1 day before the flood.

Radio news,
$100 to
transport the
tents, $300
to cover food

1. The early warning focal person of the community.
2. and 3. The community emergency response committee.
4. and 5. The community emergency response committee.

See the table

The contingency plan should include links to relevant stakeholders such as local government and RCRC branches, to closely follow up the early warning information and be ready to complement the community’s own contingency resources if a hazard or threat occurs that overwhelms the community’s own capacities.