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Building Emergency Planning Scenarios for Viral Pandemics: UCL-IRDR Covid-19 Observatory

Alexander, DE; (2020) Building Emergency Planning Scenarios for Viral Pandemics: UCL-IRDR Covid-19 Observatory. (IRDR Reports 2020-01 ). UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of this report is to provide a systematic, if incomplete, record of the issues connected with the Covid-19 pandemic in order to improve the basis for future emergency planning. Like all large disasters, Covid-19 involves cascading consequences. These need to be factored into future emergency planning scenarios. Principle: For known and evident risks, scenarios are a necessary part of the formulation of emergency plans. They enable planners to foresee problems and create robust procedures to prepare for them in advance and confront them when they materialise. High-quality emergency planning prescribes what to do in an emergency and how to ramp up measures rapidly by means of prior agreements and pathways. It also teaches what should not be neglected in the response. Pandemics are recurrent phenomena. They may also be exacerbated by human misuse of environmental resources. Hence, it is important to learn from experience and incorporate the lessons into plans for future events. A major pandemic will have a complex impact that profoundly affects the basis of ordinary life and extends into many different fields and activities. This report classifies the elements of that impact in a manner designed to act as an aide memoir for emergency planners, managers and responders. The aim is to develop a comparative overview of the issues, needs and some of the solutions that planners can apply. There are no great revelations in this work. Indeed, emergency planning is sometimes regarded as 'codified common sense', but the art of codifying is a rigorous and demanding one. If plans are adequately formulated and maintained in advance, probably the two biggest challenges during the pandemic will be (a) how to tackle the early stages resolutely when the prevailing mood is that a major crisis is not in the offing, and (b) how to come out of drastic measures safely once the rate of infections slows.

Type: Report
Title: Building Emergency Planning Scenarios for Viral Pandemics: UCL-IRDR Covid-19 Observatory
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/risk-disaster-reduction/
Language: English
Keywords: Covid-19, Emergency planning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103867
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