“Today, Britain faces a different and more complex range of threats from a myriad of sources. Terrorism, unconventional attacks, as well as large scale accidents or natural hazards – anyone could do grave damage to our country… The task of protecting our security is never complete and in an age of uncertainty we must remain vigilant, regularly taking stock of the changing threats we face.”
— The National Security Strategy, October 2010
|Title:||Predict and Prevent: Emergency Preparedness and Civil Contingencies in a New Age of Uncertainty|
|Date:||Tuesday 13th March 2012|
|Time:||10.00am – 4:30pm|
Register your place
|Jennifer Cole, Head of Emergency Management, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)|
|Dr Brooke Rogers, Co-Director, Security and Society, King’s College London; Member, Community Resilience Programme Steering Group, Cabinet Office (CCS)|
|Andrew Huddart, Programme Manager, National Local Authority Olympic Resilience Team, London Fire Brigade|
Geographically Britain is an island, but economically and politically it is a vital link in the global network, and this openness brings vulnerabilities. Since 2001, the Government has sought to adapt to new risks whilst addressing weaknesses in the disaster response and recovery effort at both the local and national level through new legislation and designing more resilient civil protection structures.
The National Security Strategy (October 2010) outlined three of the highest priority risks that we face as a nation in this "new age of uncertainty": international terrorism (including the threat from Northern Ireland), major accidents or natural hazards (including flooding) and pandemics.
Whilst international terrorism has remained high on the political radar, it was the 2007 floods which provoked the largest ever civil emergency response since the Second World War – the devastating effects of the floods highlighted the impact that natural disasters can have on local communities. More recently, the prolonged cold weather in the winter of 2010 had a crippling effect on the transport system, schools and businesses, costing the UK economy over £600 million a day.
We must be prepared to deal with the possibility of major natural hazards and be resilient in handling and recovering from their effects as outlined in Keeping the Country Running: Natural Hazards and Infrastructure (October 2011). Pandemic influenza is also one of the most severe natural challenges likely to affect the UK and therefore remains the highest risk on the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies. The UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy (November 2011) reflects on the lessons learned following the H1N1 influenza pandemic including the recommendations of the National Independent Review.
The strategic response to these threats must ensure a secure and resilient UK and as such, when risks turn into actual damage to our interests, resilience needs to be promoted both locally and nationally. The Strategic National Framework on Community Resilience (March 2011) focuses on the need for communities to take a strong and active role to improve their resilience to disasters and emergency situations.
This timely Symposium provides an invaluable platform for local authorities, emergency planning stakeholders and infrastructure providers to distil the various strands of national security and civil contingency policy. The symposium offers an essential opportunity to share best practice and discuss how the latest measures can be implemented effectively to improve not only local resilience but also to develop a more robust general civil contingency framework that will enable local authorities and communities to respond swiftly to major emergencies with strong leadership, communication and collaboration.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair's Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
New Threats, New Strategies - The National Response
|11:30||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:45||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
Improving Multi-Agency Working to Prepare and Protect
|14:30||Afternoon Coffee Break|
Panel Session Three:
Community Resilience – Sharing Best Practice and Lessons Learned
|15:45||Chair's Summary and Closing Comments|