We all want a Scotland that is safe, secure and that can cope with and recover from the periodic emergencies that are bound to occur. In the past few years, we have faced numerous major challenges including terrorism, pandemic flu, volcanic ash and severe weather. Our resilience professionals - the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, Local Authorities and Health Service amongst others - have been at the forefront of this, displaying their customary dedication to duty, putting their integrated emergency plans into effect and showing terrific specialist expertise, initiative and resolve.
Of course, there is never a place for complacency. We continue to face many hazards and threats, be those natural phenomena, systems breakdown or the criminal actions of terrorists. This is not a cause for panic or a counsel of doom, but a clear recognition of the importance of having a considered and coherent approach, conceptually and in practice, to dealing with and recovering from emergencies.
Preparing Scotland guidance sets out the philosophy, principles and practices that help us build resilience and readiness to deal with emergencies. As with all good doctrine and guidance, it is based on the distilled experience of many years and many people. The guidance is much more than words; it is a basis for action and aims to enable, not to constrain.
I know that resilience professionals will be the main readership of this guidance and indeed it is they, with the support of government, who remain at the forefront of emergency planning, response and recovery. However, resilience is everyone's business. We can all ensure personal readiness and take action to support the well-being of our neighbours and the safety of our communities. Invariably, as we have seen during recent emergencies, many individuals and organisations have "done their bit", contributing to Scotland's overall resilience and affirming our collective determination to cope, recover and adapt.
Our combined efforts to protect our society are the test of our resilience; the ongoing safety and security of our communities the measure of our success. I commend this revised guidance to you as a key part of that goal.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice