My challenge to emergency planners in the wake of Manchester

My challenge to emergency planners in the wake of Manchester

I want to preface this short post with two caveats I think the responders in Manchester have done, and continue to do, an incredible job. Not just the emergency services, not just the NHS staff, but everyone who has helped in any way. It’s a clear demonstration of the many supporting the few. My sincere condolences are with all the families of those killed, and with anyone affected by Monday’s events. I encourage you to dig deep and donate to…

Read More Read More

What Jurassic Park taught us about cyber risk

What Jurassic Park taught us about cyber risk

The tl;dr version of this post: don’t forget about the insider threat! This week I attended the first in a series of three events by the Institution of Civil Engineers entitled Preparing London. This particular event was designed to consider the human threats to infrastructure. During a talk from Nathan Jones (see this blog on his talk) my mind wandered and wondered…Did Jurassic Park teach me everything I know about cyber risk? God damn it! I hate this hacker crap! Ok, so…

Read More Read More

Red Teaming for Emergency Management

Red Teaming for Emergency Management

How do we know that decisions taken in an emergency are appropriate? Ensuring appropriate checks and balances can help reduce the influence of groupthink or any other of these decision making biases. In high stress situations, when the stakes are high, like in an emergency, could emergency managers could do to support those making the strategic decisions? Do they understand the complexity of the issues? Have they considered all of the options? Have they thought through all of the ramifications of their…

Read More Read More

Blogging in 2017

Blogging in 2017

One of the things I find most interesting about the Timehop app on my phone is how much my style of posting (especially to Facebook) has changed over 10 years. The melodrama is embarrassing and entertaining in equal measure. It’s interesting to see how what I was prompted to post about has changed. (Notice how I have deliberately stayed away from labelling this change as growth!) The last blog post I wrote was waaaay back in August. I was thinking…

Read More Read More

Rio 2016 – lessons and reflections on resilience

Rio 2016 – lessons and reflections on resilience

The Olympics is a bit like an alien invasion. The organising committee speak their own language and expect things to happen in ways which might be unfamiliar to locals. Even the London 2012 Olympic mascots looked a bit other-worldly. With a touch of nostalgia, I thought I’d take a look back at the emergency planning considerations four years ago, and how things have changed just days from the start of Rio 2016. I joined London Resilience with about 18 months to go. Planning…

Read More Read More

Unified Response: did I follow my own advice?

Unified Response: did I follow my own advice?

Last week saw the culmination of over a year of planning for Europe’s ‘largest ever emergency exercise‘. Coordinated by London Fire Brigade, the exercise simulated the collapse of a building in central London punching into an underlying tube tunnel as an underground train was passing.  Check out the @LDN_prepared Storify below for a collection of tweets from participants as the exercise progressed. [<a href=”//storify.com/LDN_prepared/exercise-unified-response” target=”_blank”>View the story “Exercise Unified Response” on Storify</a>]   Since 2014 my involvement, as workstream lead…

Read More Read More

Rethinking Recovery

Rethinking Recovery

It’s cliche, but recovery starts at the moment that something bad happens. If you fall down and break your leg, nobody says “oh, just wait a bit before getting medical attention”; you get the help that you need when you most need it. In a disaster, there is almost unanimous agreement that recovery starts as soon as the incident happens. I fundamentally agree with this, and in a broad sense even response activities can be classified as ‘recovery’ interventions of some sort….

Read More Read More

Interoperability: out with the old

Interoperability: out with the old

This is the first in a series of blogs (three I think) in which I’m trying to organise my thoughts on Interoperability ahead of being a panel member at the 3rd UK Resilience Conference. That means it runs the risk of being a little bit word-vomity…sorry. “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think…

Read More Read More

30 Days 30 Ways – Day 5

30 Days 30 Ways – Day 5

Today’s challenges are going to take a bit of creativity given that I’m currently not at home, bear with me if I’ve taken a flexible approach to the rules! UK Challenge 5 – Smoke Alarms Save Lives  Two of my housemates routinely send panicky messages to our WhatsApp group about hair straighteners which may have been left on. Fortunately they never have been to date, but I completely understand why fire risk in private rented accommodation is above average! We’ve…

Read More Read More

30 Days 30 Ways: Day 4

30 Days 30 Ways: Day 4

I’m currently in Spain, so will be trying to inject a bit of Iberian flavour to the next couple of blogs. Here’s my responses to today’s challenges. UK Challenge 4 – Who you gonna call? The instructions or the fourth 30Days 30 Ways UK task state: Make sure that children and young people you know their address so that they can tell the emergency services. As a bonus, @NorthantsFCR who will be tweeting about real calls – your challenge is to identify…

Read More Read More