New Risk Report from the UK

A new, very worthwhile, report  on Risk Assessment from the Government Office of Science (UK) Jan. 5th: Reducing Risks of Future Disasters: Priorities for Decision Makers. From the foreword:

“Science tells us why disasters happen and where many of the risks lie, and for some disasters we can even forecast when they will occur. The aim of this Report has therefore been to review the latest science and evidence, and to take stock of the further improvements that lie ahead. In so doing, it sets out priorities and options for how DRR [disaster risk reduction] can be substantially improved today and into the future.

The key message is that disaster and death are not the inevitable consequence of greater exposure to hazards. It is possible to stabilise disaster impacts, save lives and protect livelihoods. However, achieving this will require a change in culture and a new approach. Everyone with a stake in developing countries needs to play their part in reducing risk. For example, this Report argues that policy makers far beyond the traditional boundaries of development and disaster response need to recognise that they also have a key part to play in DRR, as does the private sector.”

Some past postings on this blog also deal with risk assessment. To find them  use the search function at bottom right of homepage to locate them. For example, see these risk communications docs from Univ. of MD.

And it would be great if there were a U.S. version of this report!

5 thoughts on “New Risk Report from the UK

  1. Reblogged this on DISASTER GESTALT and commented:
    Claire Rubin posted this blog on a new report from the UK on future disaster risks and their reduction. The report is worth reading, and clearly presents many of the issues to be faced. It also makes reference in a number of places to the idea that to reduce risk, we must consider reducing optimal efficiency and complexity in many systems in order for these systems to become resilient to disasters. This is perfectly line with my current interest in self-organized criticality.

  2. Just reading through the executive summary of the document I was struck by how comprehensive the document was. There are things mentioned in the report that we typically don’t consider in emergency management (such as the emergence of a certain livestock in a third world country – leading to greater disease susceptibility by those animals; or the global economic impact of major disasters). This perspective gives us a great deal to consider in the profession. Most emergency managers are primarily concerned with the jurisdiction or organization they are responsible for. While we tend to see what goes on beyond those walls, it’s somewhat polarized (it simply doesn’t become a priority to us unless it’s a potential threat). There are some in the profession who do need to think and act on a more global basis. Certainly there are entities like the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) that tackle these things, but it seems we need to see a more globally united front, not only to provide aid in times of disaster around the world, but to address the entire emergency management cycle and to incorporate research.

    Let’s talk about the globalization of emergency management…

  3. I spent some time reading through the full report ,and it is comprehensive, and well-supported. Hopefully people will realize its recommendations are appropriate for any country, not just the UK.. Hopefully many in the U.S. will take a look. Thanks for pointing it out!

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