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Emergency Preparedness in the UK: An ESRC Sponsored Seminar Series

Our aims for this seminar series include:

  • Strengthening the research foundations on which the UK emergency services and government officials plan to respond to major catastrophic events.
  • Enabling leading practitioners to partner with researchers to address key questions in preparedness.
  • Providing a forum for the academic and practitioner community to discuss emerging research priorities.
  • Identifying the key research gaps by comparing practitioners’ needs with the existing research base to identify fruitful opportunities to inform evidence-based emergency preparedness.
  • More fully appraising academics of the complexity of the problems faced by the emergency planning community so that research may be better placed to position itself ahead of the practical need.
  • Highlighting promising academic models from a range of domains which might usefully be deployed in raising levels of emergency preparedness.

Our research questions include:
To achieve this aim, we have the following research questions that are centred on our two main streams of analyses, to which we add a third stream which combines the two:
1. Preparedness of the emergency management agencies (EMAs) for Major Catastrophic Incidents (Seminars 1 & 2)

  • What research and policy questions need to be answered to inform preparedness?
  • What research models and modelling techniques can help to address these questions?
  • Which models are available but not being deployed at present?
  • What data and assumptions are needed to build these models?

2. Preparedness of the public for Major Catastrophic Incidents (Seminars 3 & 4)

  • How prepared are the public across the UK?
  • What approaches are used to ensure good awareness and preparedness of the public?
  • How can public preparedness be measured?
  • What is the likely effectiveness of the approaches for preparing the public?
  •  How should the public be best prepared?

3. Combining EMAs’ responses with the public’s response (Seminar 5)

  • How can EMA models or those emerging from academic work be used to predict the optimal public response?
  • How can EMAs and regions work towards achieving this response through public preparedness?

The outputs from the seminar series will include:

  • A web-based repository of audio recordings of the seminars.
  • An edited book including chapters written by members of the seminars.