The European Civil Protection held an online Think Tank from Berlin today.
Emergency Management executives and directors from across Europe were among the panel of contributors.
The Think Tank was held in the lead-up to the 10th Year of the EU Modex exercises programme later this month. EU Modex tests the preparedness and capabilities of European emergency response organisations in dealing with various natural disasters, emergencies and crisis situations which may arise.
One topic discussed was the extent to which the European Civil Protection Mechanism across the EU’s neighboring states and beyond could be further harmonized and standardised in preparation for a disaster and questions were asked as to how do we ensure that we can were adequately prepared for large scale new and emerging threats into the future.
Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation outlined his views. He said “You don’t know what to change unless you know how you did already, and if I look at some of the attributes of the current response, and I would say a static, inflexible, over planned and under responsive, in a sense we were focused to a great extent on capacities that were measurable capacities we counted things. We’re not as focused on the resilience and the adaptability and the flexibility of our systems to react and respond and change as the disaster changes. The one thing I think that is very interesting about an epidemic is that’s not a single point disaster; it continues, it spreads, it grows, it changes, it evolves, it goes away, it comes back, it ebbs and it flows. It’s not a static point and it’s not a static disaster. You will learn more about it. In earthquakes we know that a certain value of an earthquake will topple buildings of a certain building, we have some predictability, in an epidemic we don’t have necessarily that, we don’t know but I knew a pandemic pathogen will do until it emerges, so we’re constantly learning to understand the problem, never mind coordinating the response.”
Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO. Main Pic – File Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times
EU Modex started 10 years ago with a table-top exercise of 15 people. It’s not has more than 200 members and has held over 100 exercises in many countries across Europe.
Emergency Times will be running special feature videos and articles on the 10 year trip of EU Modex over the next 10 days in the lead up to its 10th year on 27th March.