emergency planning

Business Continuity Veteran Joins MIR3

Pickren’s BC/DR Expertise Allows MIR3 to Offer Expanded Consultative Offerings and Strategic Support
SAN DIEGO (July 21, 2011)—MIR3, the innovator of real-time Intelligent Notification™ and response technology, announced today that Ann Pickren has joined the company as vice president of solutions, effective immediately. This new role enhances the level of strategic and consultative service MIR3 can provide to its growing base of customers.

DEFRA announces £2M for flood rescue capability


The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a total of £2million to improve flood rescue capability. Grants totalling approximately £650,000 have been awarded from the fund today.

Civil Contingencies 2011 Conference Programme


Civil Contingencies 2011 Programme 

Seminars at Civil Contingencies 2011

Conference Seminars available at Civil Contingencies 2011- 18 Jan 2011

A careful selection of one-hour seminars running in the morning and afternoon will allow delegates to understand complex areas of specific interest. You will have the opportunity to attend two seminars in total. These sessions will open up into an interactive discussion, giving you the chance to contribute and debate the hot topics of the day.

GovNet Communications

Civil Contingencies 2011 - Continuity Forum Partner Event

GovNet - A Continuity Forum Partner

Civil Contingencies 2011
QEII Conference Centre, London. 
Tuesday 18th January, 2011

Europe moves to better integrate resilience

The European Union has held its Third Civil Protection Forum where  more than 500 people heard Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment, set out his vision for a resilient Europe.
Over the last two decades, the number and severity of disasters has increased significantly. This trend is expected to continue - and as a result of climate change we can anticipate an increase in heat waves, storms and heavy rainfall. These changes in weather patterns will increase our vulnerability to events such as forest fires and floods.
These changes are already happening and the results are only too visible. Earlier this year forest fires circled Athens. In the last week we have seen unprecedented flooding across England and Ireland. The Irish flooding has been described by John Gormley, the Irish Minister for the Environment, as a ‘once-in-800-years’ event. But as the climate changes this type of event could become common place.
Every disaster is a human tragedy. Each year many people are killed and many more face severe disruption to their daily life. As well as the devastating cost to human life, the financial costs are also high. Disasters cost Europe €15 billion each year. Last week's floods in England have already cost an estimated €100 million.
For all of these reasons, there is an urgent need for Europe to develop its civil protection capacities to deal with increasing levels of risk. We need to develop a society that is more resilient to disasters – whether they are natural or man-made.
A more resilient Europe will require Member States to develop their own national business continuity and resilience capacities. But it is clear that these national efforts can be much more effective when complemented by action at the EU level.
When faced by a major disaster, the pooling of resources from different member states results in a common European response that is more effective than any member state could deliver on its own. These joint efforts can also be more cost-effective since individual governments no longer need to purchase equipment to deal with every possible disaster.
Working together also improves coordination - which is an essential element in any effective response. It is natural for governments to offer support in order to show solidarity with the victims of natural disasters. But, without clear coordination, there is a risk that assistance will be duplicated or that what is sent will not meet the real needs of the affected region. The best intentions need to be structured if they are to be effective. And the Community Mechanism allows the right assistance to be delivered to the right place and with the minimum delay.
The logic for developing a disaster management and business continuity policy across Europe is clear and compelling. In a recent EU survey, 90 percent of those questioned thought the EU should do more to provide support for Member States with disaster management.
This understanding, that by working together we can achieve more than by working alone, is why the last five years has seen the reinforcement of civil protection at the EU level. The Community Civil Protection Mechanism has developed into a strong tool that now handles over 20 emergencies per year. We are cooperating increasingly with international partners such as the United Nations.
The European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre has become a central hub for European disaster response. The professionalism and dedication of the MIC team is outstanding and has contributed to the added value of the Community Mechanism in managing emergencies both inside and outside Europe.
Since 2007 we have been working hard to implement the new legal framework adopted by the Council, which has strengthened the Mechanism's tools as well as given us new opportunities to co-finance the transport of assistance and to develop readily available modules of civil protection equipment.
A number of these specialist modules have been established to respond to emergencies more quickly. This approach ensures that the European response is swift and that European teams have experience in working together.
With the support of the European Parliament, we were also able to make two fire-fighting planes available this summer to help Member States fight forest fires. The two planes conducted operations in France, Greece, Italy and Portugal and this tactical reserve is a great example of European added value in responding to natural disasters.
To improve our response capacity, we are also looking at the possibilities to develop an EU Rapid Response Capability that would ensure that key resources and essential equipment are always available to form a part of the European response.
In addition to emergency response, prevention policies are an essential part of a holistic approach to civil protection. Following a policy document that was adopted last year, the European Commission is currently in the process of developing a Community approach that can contribute to national prevention efforts.
A starting point will be to improve our information about disasters and their impacts. To do this we are developing guidelines on risk assessment and risk mapping. We are also drawing up an inventory of existing sources of information on disasters. Data on the economic impact of disasters, for example, is likely to be an important tool for assessing the costs and benefits of prevention measures.
In order to share ideas and information between stakeholders we are setting-up a European network for disaster prevention.
There is also a clear need for better communication activities aimed at the general public. A recent survey on Civil Protection showed that only one third of EU citizens are aware of their own country's policies on Business Continuity, disaster prevention, preparedness and response. Even fewer – around 15 percent of citizens – feel informed about policies at EU level.
The European Commission already has a strong role in coordinating and linking the key players in disaster management and we can build on this in future.
In the coming years, the EU will need to develop a disaster management strategy to complement Member States' disaster management plans. In order to improve Europe's resilience, this strategy will need to be comprehensive and cover prevention, preparedness and response.
This is an ambitious objective. But the changes that will be brought in by the Lisbon Treaty - which will come into force in less than one week’s time - mean that it is a realistic level of ambition.
The new Treaty will provide a specific legal basis for civil protection. It will mean that decisions will be taken by qualified majority voting. It introduces a solidarity clause and an obligation for Member States to assist each other. And finally, the Treaty enhances the role of the European Parliament - and by doing so it will allow the opinion of EU citizens to be better reflected in shaping EU policy.
The frequency of natural and man-made disasters is increasing and climate change, the greatest threat facing our planet, will make this worse. To deal with these threats we need to further improve the capacity of our civil protection forces. And one important way in which to do this will be to develop the ways in which European-level action can complement national responses. The next Commission will have the opportunity of building on the good work of the last years and making sure that European civil protection authorities have the right tools at their disposal to react to any type of emergency situation. It will also be faced with the challenge of building effective prevention policies.


WHO backs investigation into Bird Flu situation in Egypt

Following an increase in infection rates and what appears to be a change in the pattern in Egypt the World Health Organisation is backing more detailed investigation

In Egypt the World Health Organisation is backing further examination and investigation as the numbers contracting the disease rise and and the pattern of infection change. At first sight the changes appear to be good news with all of those infected in the country have survived pointing to a reduction in the virulence of the H5N1, but clinically this change could be bad news.

7/7 Phone network performance examined and explained


Following the explosions on the morning of 7th July hundreds of thousands of people used their mobile phones to contact their families and work colleagues. Mobile networks are designed to cope with significant peaks in volumes of calls, and a safety margin is also built in so that even major events do not overload the system. Call volumes on 7th July far exceeded normal levels, and the O2 network alone carried 67% more voice traffic in central London than normal, while text message volumes increased by 20% on the day across the whole country.

The O2 network was not damaged by the attacks and we took steps to manage the demand. The large number of calls did mean that there was network congestion in parts of London, but most customers were able to make calls after several attempts.

The Strategic Emergency Plan London's co-ordinated response to a catastrophic incident.

Comprises synopses of the key plans on which London's resilience is based - for example the Command and Control Protocol, the Communication Protocol, the Mass Fatalities plan, the large-scale evacuation framework and the Site Clearance plan.

The full plans, which have been agreed by the London Regional Resilience Forum, are held by the departments, agencies and organisations involved in delivering them, but have not been made public because the nature of some of the detail is operationally sensitive.

The Strategic Emergency Plan is a blueprint for effective handling of any disruptive incident in the Capital. It is an example of collaborative working across all those in the London Resilience Partnership, including the substantive work of LESLP, who are committed to making London a safer, more resilient place.

To access the Strategic Emergency Plan you will need to be LOGGED IN!



DeBoer Structures - Gold Partner

Category - Business Continuity Management - Partner listing

Special Circumstances Demand Special Solutions

Adequate and readily available accommodation is a primary requirement and concern. Fires, floods, storms, hurricanes and other disasters leave people and businesses without a roof over their heads. War and unstable governments cause whole communities to flee.

All over the world, people are migrating. But those who are sent out to maintain the peace, or provide disaster relief also need accommodation. Epidemics could necessitate setting up an emergency hospital or medical post.

These are housing situations for which De Boer offers a solution in the form of high-endurance, secure temporary accommodation. Located all over the world, these shelters serve as reception centres for refugees and displaced persons, as medical posts, offices, schools or even as extra prison space. They are also used as army barracks: during the Gulf War De Boer tents served as temporary accommodation.

Evacuate or Shelter in place?

Taking Decisions about Evacuation during a Chemical Incident

From a Business Continuity or Emergency Planning perspective is it better to evacuate people in the vicinity of a serious chemical fire or should they remain where they are?

A study* comparing the health outcomes in sheltered and evacuated populations after a chemical fire suggests that there are health advantages in people sheltering rather than evacuating. The study is published in the BMJ and was based on a real incident in 1999. It involved collaboration between public health staff at a local health authority and national health experts (now at Bristol University and the Health Protection Agency).

Walmart steps up with integrated state planning

Wal-Mart takes the reins in emergency planning

With Florida in the path of the season's first tropical storm, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ramped up its emergency operations center yesterday for the kind of disaster relief effort that won it praise for responding faster than the government last year after Hurricane Katrina.

Wal-Mart's emergency management director, Jason Jackson, said that last year's successes raised expectations from the private sector in times of disaster. Because of that, he said, the world's largest retailer would coordinate more closely with government agencies, the American Red Cross, and even business rivals.

Coping with Disaster

Nature has a way of reminding us that the unexpected will always happen. Earthquakes, forest fires, avalanches, tsunamis, disease and flooding are some of the events that have disastrous outcomes and continue to surprise the world when they occur. How we cope with the effects of such events is determined by the willingness and capabilities of governments, NGOs and individuals.

Whilst unable to predict precisely when and what will occur experience has taught society that preparation and planning at all levels leads to a greater level of resilience for communities. This resilience however is dependent upon the capabilities of the authorities, voluntary organisations and businesses to respond at the time.

Can we cope when all around us is in chaos?

2005 will be remembered for the power of nature and its ability to destroy what man has made. The Indian Ocean tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the earthquake in Kashmir have provided demonstrations of how fragile communities are when faced by such disasters.

Softening the blows of disaster

The enormity of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the communities of the US Gulf coast has yet to be comprehensively assessed. Already, though, the consequences for businesses around the world are beginning to become clear.

Insurance claims are expected to run to many billions of dollars, and the closure of oil refineries is causing a surge in fuel prices. Coming soon after last month’s severe floods in Switzerland and Austria, and with the Indian Ocean tsunamis fresh in the memory, Katrina has reminded us of the impact natural disasters can have on business – especially those that are unprepared.

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