Drawing on a thematic analysis of relevant policy documents, the aim of this paper is to comment on an apparent disconnect between two associated contemporary UK policy areas: planning for heatwaves and community resilience. Regional and national policy documents that plan for heatwaves in the UK tend to focus on institutional emergency responses and infrastructure development. In these documents, although communities are mentioned, they are understood as passive recipients of resilience that is provided by active institutions. Meanwhile, contemporary discussion about community resilience highlights the potential for involving communities in planning for and responding to emergencies (although the concept is also the subject of critique). Within this context, the paper proposes that – through engagement with the ‘community resilience’ policy agenda and its critique – effort should be made to articulate and realise greater participation by individuals, and voluntary and community sector groups in heatwave preparation, planning and response.