Community Adviser LogoIn the 1980's Civil Defence underwent a resurgence. Quietly, diligently, the whole lumbering CD machine creaked into life again to meet the demands placed upon the Western world as the Cold-War ran its course. To counter this threat - and to plan for civil disasters as well as military conflict - a body of people was appointed by Local Government to act as 'Community Advisers'. Their remit was to liaise and co-ordinate all members of their community should catastrophe strike during peacetime - or war.

A verbatim reproduction of the document: 'Role Of The Community Adviser' is reproduced below. It was issued in January 1984 by Eden District Council, in East Cumbria.




1. The District Chief Executive will appoint Community Advisers, who will be responsible to him through the Chairman of their respective Parish or Town Council in peacetime. In wartime, Community Advisers will use the established control and communications structure depicted in the Annex to the Community Advisers background paper entitled "Organisation and Control of Manpower and Materials".

2. The primary task of all Community Advisers is to advise and assist members of their community to enhance their chances of survival in the event of major war. In doing so, Community Advisers are urged to take note of the following responsibilities which, although not exhaustive, provide adequate guidance.



3. Through the good offices of the Parish or Town Council, to inform the community of his/her appointment, duties, and responsibilities attaching thereto.

4. To acquaint himself/herself with the District wartime control organisation, and to recommend the most suitable community control organisation which should be established to meet the needs of the community and complete the chain of control in the District.

5. To advise the Community Control Organisation, in both war and peace, of the major areas of need and the most effective way of dealing with them.

6. To be aware of the location, organisation and planned uses of the Community Centre and, in exceptional circumstances, to establish one.


7. To locate and record methodically and in detail the total resources of manpower and equipment which may be available to the community; and for this purpose, to adapt, complete, and maintain the detailed questionnaire which will be issued with letters of appointment from the Chief Executive.

8. To recommend the optimum use of these resources.


9. To endeavour to keep abreast of all developments which might affect his or her responsibilities to the Community, and to keep the community as fully informed as possible.

10. To continue to study individual and community problems which may arise from time to time in the simple and basic preparations and plans which may be made to meet the likely contingencies of war; and to advise individuals and recommend improvements to community plans.

11. To determine how best to disseminate information to the community, e.g. public meetings, discussion groups, broadsheets etc.

12. To be familiar with the official Attack and Fallout Warning system, to know any local terminals of this system, and the location of any ROC posts and other Radiological Monitoring centres in the Community area.

13. To consider, as a matter of priority, suitable alternatives to the official Warning system, which can be used to inform the community of an emergency situation.


14. To note the location and source of all water supplies, e.g. bore holes, wells, reservoirs, and the likely effect of radioactive fallout on them.

15. To assess the availability and amount of commercial foodstocks in the community, bearing in mind the initial drain on these resources in the transition to war period.

16. To liaise with farmers in the community, and to amplify or supplement specialist advice given to them by MAFF/NFU concerning the protection, conservation and use of their livestock and/or grain, vegetables, fruit and other farm produce.

17. To estimate the quantity of farm produce which may be available for local consumption in an emergency, always having regard to the probable District or County requirement for such farm produce to ensure an equitable distribution of food throughout the District or County.

18. To be generally familiar with the principles of emergency feeding and with District plans for doing so in Community Centres.


19. To review all private and public accommodation in the Community area, and determine their suitability for use as family or communal shelters respectively; and to advise/recommend essential improvements which may be necessary.

20. To consider the special needs of the aged, infirm, and the homeless - including refugees as necessary.

21. To develop outline plans for the provision and repair of both permanent and temporary accommodation.


22. To assess the likelihood of an influx of refugees into the Community area; and to consider carefully the options which may be excercised to deal with this problem.

23. To make recommendation on the most appropriate action to take in the circumstances envisaged, and to offer a balanced view on the effect on the community of the action proposed.

24. To alert all members of the community to the need for common sanse in dealing with the problem of refugees; and to ensure that a standard approach, is used once agreed.


25. With the guidance of any resident doctors, nurses - practising or retired - in the community to plan to make the best possible use of all available medical expertise and equipment.

26. To advise the community of the need to conserve patent medicines and, with the help of local doctors, to reassure as far as possible those who are receiving special medication.

27. To instil in all members of the community the need for a common sense approach to all ailments, and a general knowledge of the basic and simple medical care which should prove reasonably effective in dealing with both common ailments and radiation sickness.

28. To emphasise the need for stringent personal hygiene and emergency waste disposal measures at all times; and the overriding requirement to ensure that careless action in disposing of human and other waste does not contaminate sources of water.


29. To record the location and numbers of all telephone call boxes in the Community area, as well as the private numbers of those members of the community with expert skills and allocated specific tasks in the war organisation.

30. To identify local amateur radio enthusiasts, and assess the usefulness of both operators and equipment.


31. To identify and record the likely availability, by type, of all potential forms of transport, e.g. horses, bicycles, skis, boats, cars, buses, trucks, etc.

32. To maintain up to date records of all plant and machinery, with particular reference to special plant and sources of emergency power.

33. To locate and record all known fuel supplies of every type, e.g. diesel, petrol, solid fuels (wood, coke, coal, peat) and gas.


34. Law and Order is all pervasive- and it would be prudent to establish contact with the local policeman now.

35. To explain to all members of tne Community that a breakdown in law and order poses a serious threat to survival itself; and to emphasise the need for considerable self restraint, support for any authorised form of law and order, and the vital importance of commonsense and moderation in both individual and collective action.

36. When advised by the police, to encourage suitable members of the community to respond to the call for special constables.

37. In the absence of any representative of the forces of law and order or of any authoritative guidance and advice, to urge the most respected members of the community to take on the mantle of responsibility for law and order as a temporary expedient.


38. To liaise with any major Emergency Services (Fire/ Ambulance etc) based in the Community area and with established Voluntary Organisations (St. John, Red Cross and WRVS).

39. To maintain continuous liaison with District and with the County Emergency Planning Team in peacetime.

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