Community resilience can be defined as:“The capacity of an individual, community or system to adapt in order to sustain an acceptable level of function, structure, and identity” (Edwards, 2009 and UK Strategic National Framework on Community Resilience, Cabinet Office, 2011). It has become a key concept within the UK context of emergency planning, in response to the policy drive to local accountability and decision making and in acknowledgement of the limitation of statutory emergency responders in extreme events. Within the policy literature the relationship of resilience to vulnerability is not fully discussed but they are, inextricably linked, the understanding and reduction of vulnerabilities will support the development of long lasting adaptive community resilience which can be drawn upon in emergencies. The key question this research was focussed on was what is the role of communities in response to emergencies and how do different types of community (e.g. with different types of social capital) emerge, develop and adapt before, during and after those emergencies.The two case studies presented here are part of a larger project carried out for the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office (UK Government ) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory which is inputting to the development of community resilience policy. This research informs guidance on practical action to develop community resilience to emergencies.The two case studies are very different but both in urban areas with high levels of deprivation: Great Yarmouth which is at risk of flooding (tidal, pluvial and fluvial) and was affected by a “near miss” tidal surge in 2007 and Peckham, London which was affected by the “riots” in August 2011. The case studies focus on how is the community structured?, How did the community respond to the event? What relationships are there between the community and organisations? What has happened since in terms of resilience building?In terms of Great Yarmouth community resilience is being built on community development. In terms of vulnerability, a key vulnerability of disempowerment is being addressed. There are community development workers who involve, engaged and then empower people to act. By doing this they provide people with connections to others and services, which increases their resilience in emergency situations. In Peckham the event was very recent and so resilience is emerging. The community is working out different ways to build up the community with one group now meeting together because people in the same street stayed indoors alone, frightened because they did not know each other. Other groups are working with young people to support them.. In this case study the complexity of relationships within an urban community: formal and informal networks, links with authority are discussed. The paper discusses how resilience emerges and develops in the context of these urban communities responding to emergency situations. It draws on the concepts of resilience, social capital and vulnerability to provide some practical recommendations for action.