The second in a series of roundtable events under Chatham House Rule to get key influencers talking about shared issues.
This event introduced by a keynote speech from the Cabinet Office, looks at how government agencies and the private sector can work together to prepare for natural hazards and their impacts more effectively. It also examined how to implement the 'Keeping the Country Running: Natural Hazards and Infrastructure' guide as published by the Cabinet Office.
This roundtable event looked at:
The group recognised that implementing the guide requires organisations to work together more closely to improve national resilience without introducing new regulation.
Some organisations felt they were out of the loop when it come to developments in hazard management, with calls for better availability of data and integrated advice. Attendees welcomed the opportunity to share / communicate initiatives around hazard management and national resilience more often in future, to ensure incentives are joined-up and messages are consistent.
It was suggested that organisations were kept on their toes by regular hazard events. Given that local events could escalate into national crises, impacts that cut across all types of hazard were covered in the Cabinet Office guide. When it comes to the likelihood of specific hazards occurring, judgements should be based on the probability of the extreme events taking place - such as the eruption history of Iceland - and possible knock on effects explored.
It was suggested that the Met Office and Environment Agency should investigate how best to influence behaviours and actions to ensure people take action after receiving a warning.
The Met Office was tasked with setting up a stakeholder working group to take these international resilience and communication issues forward. As natural hazards do not respect geographic boundaries, the working group is to consider the international impacts of natural hazards.
Overall, it was felt that the greatest threat lay, not in the next natural hazard, but in getting joined-up policy in the right place at the right time.
Download a detailed summary of the roundtable here:
Last updated: 29 January 2016