Enhancing the Profession Issue 47 Winter 2006
In this issue:
Mostar - Operation Florian
Flood Risk In Florence
Building Resilience In Birmingham
and much more…
The Magazine of The Emergency Planning Societ y
NoDavid Kerry, Director of Professional Issues
Welsh Branch Visit new
On Monday 30 October the Welsh Branch met in Cardiff (below)
and were hosted by the Emergencies and Security Policy Branch,
Well, it always was a horrible way of Those PWG’s that are currently working Groups, and there is an absence of Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff Bay. With members from
expressing this very important part of the and with leadership will continue as standing understanding of what may be expected across Wales gathering on the Capital, a visit to the new
Society’s work, that of providing specialist groups: from the Groups, and in return from the Assembly Building was organised and a tour preceded lunch
advice and support to members, • Business Continuity - Chair, David Leslie, Board. It was agreed that core Terms of and the Branch meeting.
government departments and agencies and email@example.com Reference should be developed and applied This new Assembly Building, or “Senedd” meaning
others through our Professional Issues • CBRN - Chris Abbott to all groups, and these will be developed in parliament in Welsh, is an innovative and state of the art
Groups. Read on to find out what replaces firstname.lastname@example.org consultation with the Chairs of Groups. design making maximum use of new technology, with a
them. • COMAH/Pipeline - Nick Elliott, All groups to have agreed targets for modern and user-friendly building interior. The Branch
Mike Parker, Director of Professional email@example.com outcomes or products David Kerry Dan Taylor members were able to visit the committee and
Issues in 2004, undertook a major review of • Crowd Safety - Sue Storey, It was agreed that all PWG’s and Project conference facilities and spent some time in the
debating chamber, experiencing the superb acoustics
the role and composition of the Professional firstname.lastname@example.org Teams must have identifiable outcomes or
that we were told will catch those secret whispers!
Issues Groups at that time and his report • Health - Andrew Houghton, products. These will vary from group to
Natural light has also been a considerable
may be found in Blueprint Issue 41. email@example.com group – some may produce guidance
requirement and the central 'chimney', a wind
However, many of his recommendations • Human Aspects - Rosie Murray, documents, others will co-ordinate
assisted rotating lantern, is also used to ventilate the
have yet to be fully implemented, and in a rosiemurray@awarenessraisingfortraum professional representation on behalf of the chamber and in doing so helps to reduce energy
recent update of that review it has been a.com Society in meetings and in consultations with consumption.
found that currently less than half of the • Oil Pollution - Tony Morris, government departments and other Should Society members find themselves in
Groups listed on the EPS website are firstname.lastname@example.org agencies, others will develop lobbying tools, Cardiff, do take the time to visit this inspiring
functioning. Those that are functioning are and some will do all of these and more. building. Public access is encouraged, there is a
producing some good work, but are failing to Former PIG’s that are no longer active as Website pages to be regularly updated refreshment area within the building, and guided
tell the rest of the Society what they are groups, but which still have a lead contact with news of the activities of PWG’s tours can be arranged.
doing and, without a sympathetic driving will become Focal Points, with the Lead The web page links on the main page will
force behind them, they have become Contact from time to time advising the be updated in line with the reorganisations I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all members and introduce myself as
somewhat introspective and insular. The Board of any emerging issues and to whom already explained, and, critically, a major the new Society Administrator/Operations Manager with the Emergency Planning Society,
lack of communication with the rest of the the Board can approach for informed advice effort will be made to keep the pages up-to- based at the Head Office in Cardiff.
membership is graphically emphasised by and representation when needed. date with news about the activities of the
the out of date or lack of any information on • Nuclear - Terry Kelly, groups, meetings attended, and progress I have spent the last 5 years as the General Manager of University of Wales, Newport
the PIG’s website pages, although this has in email@example.com with outcomes and products. Students’ Union, a far cry from Emergency Planning and the Society some might say but you
part been because of the past lack of an • Transport - Tony Matthews, Increased Central Office Support would be surprised. As General Manager, I worked as the senior member of staff in a
efficient centralised system for updating the firstname.lastname@example.org The Central Office will provide support to membership led organisation, answering to the elected executive committee of the Union.
pages. The lack of information on the web Chairs of PWG’s, initially with organising During that time the motivation was primarily improving membership services, developing a
pages fails the groups as well because the A few PIG’s have not been active for some meeting dates and venues, distribution of membership focus by talking and listening to, engaging and supporting members and
membership is unaware that many of them time, and do not currently have either or agenda, minutes and reports, uploading groups, providing the best service possible with limited resources available. The other main
Database of Subject Matter
are in fact working quite hard. It is clear that both Chairs and Members. It was decided to activity updates onto the web pages. focus was to improve the marketing of the organisation and seek new streams of income,
a fundamental rethink on the workings of abolish these groups. whilst enhancing those already in place. Any new income was invested back into the Union
the groups is needed, not least because in • Emergency Planning Information to improve the services to members and to further fund the interest groups within the Following recent training and exercise events for
their present form many of them are failing • Flooding and Severe Weather organisation. Rest Centre Managers and support staff (including
to fulfil any useful purpose and perhaps • Local Authorities The Society has for a long time had the It is this mix of skills and experience that I intend to transfer into my new role with the the voluntary Sector) it was recommended that
should be disbanded. • Information Technology intention of compiling a database of EPS and focus on the following areas: improvements needed to be made with regards to the
This rethink started when the future of experienced professionals who could be • Business Continuity - Chair, David Leslie, email@example.com Counties capability to respond to incidents requiring
Professional Issues Groups was discussed at Issues which arise and would benefit called upon to provide advice on specific • CBRN - Chris Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org evacuations.
a meeting of the Chairs of Professional from the brining together of a team of issues, and also to be available to respond • COMAH/Pipeline - Nick Elliott, email@example.com Carmarthenshire is a large Authority, which is prone
Issues Groups, Branches and the Board in professionals but which will not need a on behalf of the Society to media requests. • Crowd Safety - Sue Storey, firstname.lastname@example.org to widespread flooding. Due to the mainly rural nature of
Cambridge on 25th October. The standing PWG will be dealt with by the Although past attempts at this have been • Health - Andrew Houghton, email@example.com the County it was recommended that the resources to
importance of having active Working Groups formation of ‘task and finish’ Project Teams, unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, we • Human Aspects - Rosie Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org assist in the establishment of rest centre should be
was accepted without question, and with a specific remit and lifespan. have decided to give it another go, and all • Oil Pollution - Tony Morris, email@example.com spread more widely. Thus it was decided that 6 additional
discussions centred on the need for the Look at some realignment with the PWGs, Focal Points and Project Teams will “Mini Rest Centre boxes” should be made up in addition to
Society to be fully and professionally able to National Capabilities Programme be asked to contribute to the database. Active Branches and Professional Working Groups are the backbone of the the four standard boxes already situated at strategic
engage with government and others, The National Capabilities Programme Society, with members being engaged in productive, worthwhile local, regional and locations within the county. The standard “Rest Centre boxes”
particularly in regard to the National offers opportunity for the Society to consider national work. I have found, through my experience in a member led organisation have enough documentation and materials to deal with 250
Capabilities Programme. Key decisions realigning some of our existing PWG’s to the A lot more work is needed to ensure that that activity and the communication of that activity encourages more members evacuees, along with a fully charged mobile phone for the Rest
taken were: capabilities work streams, or possibly the the initiatives described here are fully to become active and engaged in the Society, providing more professional Centre Manager (tested and charged on a regular basis). In
Change the name from Professional National Risk Register, and this will be implemented, and the next meeting of discussion both within their groups and in a wider context, with all interested addition, these boxes each contain magazines, puzzles and toys
Issues Groups (PIG’s) to Professional looked at further over the coming months. Chairs of PWG’s, along with Chairs of members on discussion boards and at Society events. for any children who may be evacuated.
Working Groups (PWG’s) However, some subjects are outside Branches, will be held in January 2007. I firmly believe that member led organisations such as ours are just The “Mini Rest Centre boxes” are to supplement the larger boxes,
A much less unfortunate abbreviation and Capabilities, such as Oil, Crowd Safety and News of the progress made at the meeting that, led and guided by the membership. Through the elected board and and contain the necessary stationary and material to register up to a
a more accurate description of their others not covered by Civil Contingencies Act will be posted on the website. council structures in place, members of the Society have an opportunity hundred people.
function. 2004, and it will be appropriate to maintain to mould, shape and develop its future direction and vision. I consider All Rest Centre Boxes are located in social care establishments and
To have a mixture of Professional some PWG’s in their own right. that it is down to the Central Office to support and facilitate the are accessible 24 hrs a day. With the addition of the extra “Mini Rest Centre
Working Group’s, Focal Points and Project All Groups to have Terms of Reference accomplishment of that vision and I look forward to helping the boxes”, the County is now more adequately prepared to deal with
www.the-eps.org Page 4 www.the-eps.org Page 5
Teams. Current ToR’s are widely varying across the board and membership achieve its goals. evacuations no matter where or when they occur.
The Norwich Union
Very soon after taking the Chair I met service to their members. I was also very
with Bruce Mann at the CCS and soon privileged to be invited to attend a joint
thereafter with Michael Charlton-Weedy event of the Northern Ireland and
from the EP College. Both meetings were Southern Ireland Branches, which was a
extremely positive. Bruce was very keen fabulous seminar looking at relevant
that EPS and Cabinet Office engage in topics to their members, including
more joint working, which I support and business continuity, exercise design and
we spoke about the potential for some delivery etc. The joint branch executive
regional workshops early in 2007. We meeting I sat in on afterwards was very Climate change is already having a major technology, and underpinned by the Norwich Union would underwrite for
also discussed the future of the positive and worthwhile. effect on insurance claims in the UK; NEXTMap Britain height data, the risk of planning purposes.
Professional Interest Groups, the annual The new Board is also working weather related claims cost the insurance flooding can be ascertained for individual Alongside the flood risk mapping Norwich
Holding a ‘voluntary’ position within the conference and associated issues. cohesively and being dynamic and industry over £1bn a year and are increasing properties. Union has also been involved with the
Society and having a full time day job can We also discussed the over-riding aim innovative and I am sure that all members by 4% per annum on average. For the five The map has been created using recently completed FLOWS project, in
sometimes bring conflicting priorities. I of the Society to achieve Chartered will begin to see the benefits of this new million people living in flood risk areas across recognised hydrological modelling partnership with Cambridgeshire Council,
have recently experienced that with the Institute status. The first step on this road approach shortly. The recent appointment the UK, the Norwich Union Flood Map means techniques by JBA Consulting; generally that retro fitted a property to make it flood
discovery of 20 WW2 pipe mines buried is the ‘core competencies’ work that we of our new Society Administrator, Dan more accurate premiums and a better using a normal depth method but also resilient. Some of the measures installed
beneath an airfield in Hampshire. Not just are working on with the College and other Taylor, is also a significant step in the understanding of the flood risk to their ‘Jflow’, a proprietary method they developed, included replacing carpets downstairs with
any old airfield but the home to partners. Beyond this Bruce pledged the right direction property. which is particularly effective for low lying ceramic tiles, use of water resistant limelight
Hampshire Police’s fixed wing aircraft and support of the CCS in helping the Society We continue to move forward and the Data for the map was collected by an area like the Fens. plaster, raising white goods above the flood
‘India Juliette’, the Coastguard search and with this aim. future is an interesting place for airborne radar system, as part of the Some of you might not know however that level and fitting door boards on the exterior
rescue helicopter. Anyway, having done At the meeting with Michael we emergency planners and the Society. ‘NEXTMap Britain’® programme. The data is there is a caveat in the Local Government doors. The property was a housing
little else since July the Operation finished touched on some of these issues in a little used to produce a Digital Elevation Model, a Mapping Services Agreement, MSA, which association house in Lowestoft and had
last week so normal service can be more detail regarding improving the Ian Hoult map, which shows the height of the ground means that there are restrictions on the use already flooded several times. The tenant
resumed. (Read more about the pipe relationship between the Society and the Chairman of the EPS above sea level. This is then combined with a of NextMap Britain for flood modelling. worried every time heavy rain was forecast in
mine operation later on in this College. I am very pleased to announce 31 October 2006 flood software model to produce information However, Norwich Union is happy to discuss case the house became flooded. Following
publication). that Michael agreed to give 5% discount on where floods are likely to occur, how they individual needs and a license for its flood the heavy rains in September, this house
Despite my having been somewhat out for every member on prospectus courses spread and how far they extend. It is the first model. Local Authorities will be able to flooded along with the neighbouring
of the picture the Society has not stood at the College from 1st April 2007. time that the two technologies have been purchase a DVD with shape files of most of properties. The tenant in the resilient house
still and since the AGM notable progress I chaired the first Council meeting of brought together to produce a model of this the flood outlines for the different return merely had to mop up a small amount of
has been made on a number of issues the new term in September was size. periods. For further information go to water whilst the other residents are currently
and some new initiatives are coming to exceedingly pleased at the positive feeling The Norwich Union Flood Map provides www.norwich-union.co.uk/dataservice in alternative accommodation whilst their
the fore which will be of interest, and around the table. Many of our Branches extents and depths of river flooding for 7 It should be emphasised that the Norwich properties are repaired. For further
potentially benefit, to all. are very active and providing an excellent return periods: 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 250 and Union flood map was created to assess information go to:
1000 years. Using modern digital mapping insurance risk and is not something that www.floodresilienthome.com
The Hertfordshire Resilience Conference is your opportunity to learn
from the experience of those directly involved in responding to recent
emergencies and business continuity incidents.
Over the last 17 years, the successful conference has featured
presentations from responders to some of the worlds most significant
emergencies and this year will be no exception.
Our first confirmed speaker is from Dacorum Borough Council on how
the Local Authority is managing the long term recovery of the local area
from the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot explosion and fire of December 2005.
The Council has involved the local residential and business communities
and has developed a recovery strategy for application in other situations.
All the UK airports had to implement business continuity arrangements
to deal with the heightened security measures introduced in August.
Airlines had to cope with delays within airports at the latter end of the
summer peak season for travel. A speaker will join us from the air industry
to share their experience.
To fully reflect the content of the Civil Contingencies Act, further
speakers will focus on the emergency response to a major incident and
consider the planning issues associated with a potential influenza
The conference returns to Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on
Wednesday 21st March 2007. Judging by previous experience, the event will
be a sell-out, so book your place early by contacting the Hertfordshire
Emergency Planning team on 01992 555961, emailing
www.the-eps.org Page 6 www.the-eps.org Page 7
firstname.lastname@example.org or logging on to
Northern Ireland Branch of the
Emergency Planning Society
“Catching Corporate Flu –
A toolkit for survival”
One-day seminar 26.10.06
Ronnie Myers and Jamie Tomlin page and explain the importance of it, a to learn but are keen to do so. We are
Lincolnshire Emergency Planning Unit, Fire & Rescue HQ, South Park Ave , Lincoln LN5 8EL distribution page, a list of contents page, confident that with continued training in the
a consultation statement then an future and the provision of resources, they will
introduction. be an asset to the people of Mostar.
Over the next few days we went Following a request by members of the Northern Ireland (NI) Branch to hold a
through what needed to be included in training event to deal with the issues surrounding a flu pandemic the NI Executive
Committee once again set about putting together a programme to include not only
the plan in the various sections such as; 1. Lack of a command structure during incidents i.e.
key speakers and a workshop but also to provide guidance and a clear checklist for
1. Who and how the plan is activated. the absence of using the Gold, Silver and Bronze
delegates to take away and use within their organisation. In addition a question and
2. Warning and informing the public. system needs to be looked at in greater detail not just
answer facility was set up on the Northern Ireland Branch Webpage in order that
3. Roles and responsibilities of the Police, with the Mostar CPU but with all the emergency
issues could be addressed after the event with the answers provided by experts
Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service, Civil services. When we covered this subject it was warmly and posted for all to read.
Protection Unit and any other welcomed by the CPU but it clearly needs to be Over sixty delegates from various levels of Central Government Departments,
organisation who has a role to play in addressed to all agencies to improve their response to an Local Government, Emergency Services, Health and Social Services Trusts,
the event of a flood. incident. Future Op Florian training should concentrate on Utility Companies, Finance Houses and Banks, Transport Companies and
4. Evacuation procedures in conjunction this subject. Voluntary Sector attended the event held at The Comfort Hotel near Antrim
with their rest centres. Key speakers on the day included:
5. Clothing, feeding and shelter for those 2. Debriefing is another area that needs to be included in Dr Lourda Geoghegan, a Consultant in Public Health Medicine, currently
evacuated. future training as this is currently not in place following an on secondment from the Eastern Health and Social Services Board to the
6. Pre identified and numbered RV points incident. I suggest “Structured debriefs” something along Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to work on regional
at various locations along the river and the line as taught by the Centre of Structured Debriefing be influenza pandemic contingency planning. Dr Geoghegan concentrated on
in the city for use by the emergency introduced to the emergency services that is now widely and the health issues facing the population and the Health Service during a flu
Two members of Lincolnshire some time now and was extremely services (mapped and put in the plan successfully used throughout the UK. pandemic. In addition the impact on the population and the business
community was developed.
Emergency Planning Unit (EPU), Ronnie disappointed when we informed her that as an Annex).
Dr Anne Wilson, a Consultant in Public Health Medicine from Eastern
Myers and Jamie Tomlin, travelled to the we had none of these resources for her. 7. Communication plan. 3. Resources are sadly lacking here and the CPU is eagerly
Health and Social Services Board explored the issues in relation to Multi-
city of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina The list of equipment she was 8. Media plan. Location for press awaiting the arrival of equipment they desperately need. Not
Agency planning and preparedness for an influenza pandemic.
from 18 to 25 September to work with expecting included a 4x4 land rover, conferences (Pre prepared only do they need the resources but it is important to not forget
Les Drew brought a wide range of knowledge and experience from 28
their local counterparts to deliver radio communication equipment, mobile statements/holding statements that when and if the equipment arrives, the Mostar CPU will years working in the Northern Ireland Electricity Industry with
training on how to write a multi agency phones, fax machine, stationary, laptop included an Annex) require training in the use of it. responsibilities in areas such as risk management, business continuity,
emergency response plan. computers, maps, torches, batteries and 9. Location and alternative locations for internal audit and IT security. His presentation focused on the
The city of Mostar was greatly affected a whole lot of other stores in order for Gold and Silver Commands. development of contingency plans in the event of a flu pandemic and
by the Balkans war and is slowly getting them to carry out their duties. 10.Contacts list both during and out of Ronnie Myers Jamie Tomlin provided good practice guidance on a structured approach in maintaining
back to normality but the Mostar Civil After talking with them via the working hours. Lincolnshire Civil Protection Unit critical work areas.
Protection Unit is in urgent need of translator it quickly became apparent 11.Restoration phase. Fire & Rescue HQ Iain Webster from Network Media, a journalist for thirty years (previously
training and resources in order to that they do have systems in place to 12.Testing the plan (Live and/or tabletop South Park Ave writer for BBC 9 o’clock news, presenter and editor of BBC Northern
effectively respond to an emergency deal with incidents in conjunction with exercises) Lincoln LN5 8EL Ireland evening news programme) gave a stimulating presentation on the
incident. the emergency services and they have an use of the media for pre-event education, public warning/information and
Mostar is particularly vulnerable to enthusiastic volunteer sector at their We also very briefly touched on the discussed how the media would cope with maintaining service during such
Earthquakes, landslides, forest fires, disposal i.e. flood wardens, rest centres importance of having a multi-agency
Tony Andreucetti, a Senior Business Continuity Consultant with Hewlett
collapsed buildings, landmines and identified in and around the city and a debrief after an incident, as Slavica
Packard, emphasised the need for further developments in planning over the
floods and, there are no written plans for mountain rescue unit albeit with little or informed us that an incident debrief does
normal business continuity plan.
any of these events. If one of these no resources. not currently happen.
Most of the above presentations are available to read on the Northern
incidents occurs, each emergency Slavica informed us that flooding is (See recommendations below) A Ireland Webpage.
service responds independently with the most frequent incident that they have great deal of important work to get After a question and answer session with the presenters the seminar moved
little or no communication between to deal with (The city is built in, around through and even more so when using into a three inject scenario where the delegates were given the opportunity to
them and a chaotic, uncontrolled and in some cases on the river Nerita) an interpreter but at the end of the week discuss issues from their personal or organisational perspective as a flu
response usually ensues. and she was very keen that we help her we produced a good template for them pandemic would develop.
The first morning was spent to write a flood plan which, after to build upon and once the information Michael Skelton (NI Branch Regional Representative) from Northern Ireland
translating the presentations that we had consultation with all emergency services from all agencies is gathered and Electricity/Viridian Group, rounded off the scenario and spoke on the issues which
prepared before we departed from the will, bring about a coordinated and multi included in the plan, the amendments should be considered as the waves of a flu pandemic would subside.
UK. The Mostar CPU personnel have a agency response. made and a consultation phase David Neill (NI Branch Webmaster) concluded the presentations by giving advice
very busy schedule during the working We then focussed our training on completed, they can at least have a on the access to the Northern Ireland Website for use of the question and answer
day so we had to deliver our training producing a flood plan and dispensed coordinated multi-agency flood response board and of course the click to join membership facility.
The event was sponsored by Hewlett Packard, Northern Ireland Electricity/Viridian
after they had finished work which was with nearly all that we had earlier plan.
Group and Belfast City Council to whom the Northern Ireland Branch extend their thanks
ideal for us as it allowed us time during prepared in the UK and concentrated on The Mostar Civil Protection Unit are
and appreciation for all their support both practical and financial.
the day to prepare our training a few presentations on the concept of an extremely dedicated and enthusiastic
Initial feedback from delegates was very positive with comments such as “excellent
programme. Gold, Silver and Bronze Commands used team who clearly want to help their
workshop and speakers”. ”very professional seminar, speakers and content excellent”
After we were introduced the Mostar successfully in the UK and the content of community, they want to produce plans, Opposite: Mostar CPU Jamie rear left,
Thanks must also go to the employers of the Executive Committee who provided venues for
CPU manager, a lady called Slavica a flood plan for the City of Mostar. they want to work alongside the Ronnie rear 3rd from left
Top: Ronnie Instructing using an meetings, hospitality, release of staff for preparation and development of this seminar and ALL
Anicic, she asked us for a load of As they had no idea how to write a emergency services but they simply do Branch activities. These include, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Browne McKee
equipment she was expecting us to bring plan we had to literally start with the not have the resources and are Bottom: MostarSymbols of the Balkans Partnership, The Ulster Hospital & Community Trust, North Down Borough Council, Belfast City
www.the-eps.org Page 8 www.the-eps.org Page 9
for her and her team. Apparently, she front cover and date the plan (including a frustrated at having very little to work War are everywhere (This shows a Council and Northern Ireland Electricity/Viridian Group. Without their support this event and the
has been promised this equipment for review date), make up an amendments with. It is also clear that they have a lot mortar bomb and shrapnel) running of the NI Branch would not be possible.
Flood risk in Florence: forty years on
arrangements. The City's Civil Protection abolishment of military conscription in the
DAVID ALEXANDER Professor of Disaster Management University of Florence
service has a four-volume emergency 1990s means that there is now no surplus
plan that is being updated in a somewhat of military personnel to conduct disaster
different manner to the Provincial work. No one yet knows whether the
administration's fully computerised plan. increased professionalism of volunteer
image and hence as something that network frequently suffers from gridlock Ensuring compatibility of arrangements civil protection associations will be
should not be remember very publicly. and work to expand the A1 motorway so for notification, departure and arrival of sufficient to compensate for these
Nevertheless, commemorations will take that traffic can effectively bypass the city evacuees is a delicate problem in a deficiencies when the next major disaster
Flood disaster risk in the
place and the 40th anniversary of the will not be complete until the end of the complex, congested situation like the strikes Italy.
disaster provides many people in the decade. Hence the plan to encourage Florence metropolitan area. Moreover, the
Italian emergency management people to self-evacuate from the city north of Florence. However, this will only civil protection office of the Region of
community with the opportunity to reflect centre, which was published in the affect the River Sieve, a relatively minor Tuscany, which is also located in Florence,
on progress--or the lack of it. This article telephone directory in 1991, was affluent of the Arno, and most of the casse has been dogged by problems of ensuring Coincidentally, 2006 also marks the
will consider the heritage of the floods withdrawn several years later for fear that d'espansione are necessarily situated compatibility between the emergency 30th anniversary of the industrial accident
Emergency response arrangements
and some of its emergency management it would only lead to more gridlock. downstream of the city centre, as this was plans of the nine Tuscan provinces. that occurred at Séveso near Milan and
Updating the impact scenario
implications. the only area where there was still space the tenth anniversary of the catastrophic
Despite the best of intentions on the for them. flood that swept through the villages of
part of planners, the hazard scenario The Olmatello centre is also the co- the Versilian Mountains west of Florence.
Anyone who has visited Florence in remains almost unchanged. In the late In central Florence the Arno has been ordination headquarters of volunteer The latter event, which killed 13 people,
recent years will be aware that the city is 1980s a river basin authority was created dredged and the river banks have been organisations. In Florence the Venerable had an estimated recurrence interval of
very different from what it was like in the along American lines, but it has had only a raised and consolidated. The main Company of the Misericordia has an 700 years. It galvanised the Tuscan
The night of 4 November 1966 was 1960s. Restrictions on traffic have been limited effect upon hydrological planning. obstacle remains the Ponte Vecchio, as unbroken tradition of emergency emergency planning community into
marked by severe storms, floods and imposed in the centre. Electric and gas- The Arno is a flashy river--more little can be done to increase the flow response operations that stretches back action.
landslides throughout central and powered busses now circulate, two new accurately a torrent with serious through it beyond 2500 cubic metres per to AD 1245. It has been joined by a
northern Italy. At 3.30 a.m. the River Arno metropolitan tramlines are under pretensions to become a fully-fledged second (the 1966 floods involved 4000 number of other organisations, including
burst its banks in the Casentino area near construction (trams were abolished in river. In mid-August its flow can diminish cumecs). A bypass tunnel has been several that deal with forest-fire fighting.
Arezzo and by sunrise water had invaded Florence in 1957) and Eurostar trains to zero, engendering severe proposed, but there is little support for the All of them are registered with the
the historical centre of Florence, reaching arrive at Santa Maria Novello station via a eutrophication problems. The effect of a idea, as it would involve difficult government for civil protection work and
depths of 3.65 metres at the Bargello and high-speed intercity rail link. Many mighty river flowing through the centre of hydrological and geotechnical problems, they regularly train and exercise their
3.96 m at San Niccolò oltr'Arno. Water historic buildings have been Florence is actually created by weirs as well as huge costs. At least, decades of members in this field. Hence, Pietro
eventually came over the top of the Ponte comprehensively restored, though the which in high summer pond the stagnant hydraulic and hydrological modelling, and Bortone, the chief emergency co-
Vecchio but thankfully failed to demolish restoration of Santa Maria del Fiore, the water. In November and March the Arno of improvements in regional ordinator for Florence boasts that if
it. Thirty two of the 112 deaths recorded in cathedral, is so complex and delicate that can flow over the Chiusa di Santa Rosa, meteorological forecasting, mean that the necessary he can mobilise 1000
the 1966 floods occurred in Florence, and it is taking decades to achieve. Moreover, next to the Ponte Vespucci, with awe- physical side of the problem is now volunteers within ten minutes and 5000
the impact upon architectural heritage, tourist numbers have increased inspiring discharge, roaring furiously and exceedingly well known. within one hour: given the wealth of
River management strategy
art treasures, archives and libraries was relentlessly, adding to the general sending up clouds of spray. experience available in the area and the
incalculable. The damage is symbolised overcrowding. Despite a steady reduction In 1992 Italy promoted a national high degree of organisation, this is
by Cimabue's crucifix, a work dated 1290- in the population of the municipality of emergency planning and management probably a fair assessment.
5 that hung in the church of Santa Croce Florence, which is now about 350,000, Unfortunately, an ill-considered strategy, the Augustus Method, which has However, it is one thing to have small
(flood depth 2.7 m) and which, despite extensive urban renewal is underway on strategy to bring the national economy out unified methods of assessing risks and In 1966 the emergency response was mountain villages under water and quite
painstaking restoration, was 70 per cent the flat plains to the north and west of the of stagnation was put into place in 1967, organising the response to disaster. It is dominated by the so-called angeli del another to have a major city, many
destroyed by the flood such that it now city. Light industry is abundant here, and the year after the floods. The 'Ponte Law' based on the codification of emergency fango--"mud angels"--untrained thousands of tourists and a priceless
lacks parts of the face of Christ. at Calenzano there is even an oil storage led to six months of free-for-all in support functions for efficient volunteers, most of whom were students artistic heritage under threat. Emergency
facility with remarkably similar granting building licences. The result was communication during crisis situations. or other enthusiastic young people. For management in Florence, Tuscany and
Marble tablets that indicate the characteristics to the one at Buncefield. sudden, massive urbanisation of the With regard to emergencies in Florence it the last 15 years emergency response has Italy is still underfunded, and despite
maximum flood level in 1966 (and for banks of the Arno upstream and provides the formal mechanism for been heavily regulated and increasingly strenuous efforts it is still in need of
some cases in 1844 as well) can be found downstream of Florence, including the coordination between the municipal, subject to complex planning. In a future further professionalisation, as well as
on walls throughout the centre of the city, main pressure points where topography provincial and national levels of civil flood alarm, volunteer response squads greater political and public support.
Emergency planning strategy
including inside the Municipal Theatre. forces the river into a gorge and funnel protection administration.. would immediately start work on Fortunately, the basic model and
Periodically, video cassettes and books of effects occur on flood-flows. In 1967 one sandbagging the national library and state organisation are very sound. We can
photographs are issued to commemorate of the most vulnerable of the Middle Arno archives (both of which are situated on the conclude that as a result of changing
the floods, which are clearly an important Valley communities expanded across the In the early 1990s the City of Florence banks of the Arno), lifting major works of patterns of human activity the flood risk in
point of reference in the city's history and floodplain by 75 per cent. inaugurated a new emergency operations art out of harm's way and conducting Florence has not diminished, but in any
in the life of all Florentines over the age of centre in Via dell'Olmatello, located on the other pre-programmed activities. The future event the emergency response
40. Ten years ago a major national The intense levels of development in western periphery of the city strategically municipal GIS system has registered the would be vastly more professional and
emergency management exercise, Arno- central Tuscany mean that there is little close to rail links and the airport. It was addresses and details of all pensioners well-organised than it was in 1966.
30, was held in Florence using the 1966 In 1966 most of the physical damage opportunity to regulate flows in the Arno recently enhanced by the construction of a and handicapped people in floodable
floods as the reference event for the was wreaked by a combination of water, by natural means. Dredging and levée two-storey, state-of-the-art emergency areas and this would be used to give them In conclusion, one should not forget the
scenario that was enacted. Arno-30 took mud and heavy oil from ruptured central building are held to increase the flood control centre, which is shared with the assistance with evacuation. other risks. In 1993 a very serious
place only a few years after three seasons heating tanks. Since then, oil has been hazard downstream. Hence, where Province of Florence. The latter has terrorist attack occurred in Florence, and
of serious flooding had again affected the replaced by natural gas as the main possible, the River Basin Authority uses offices close to the city centre and an On the more negative side, although in 2000 a fatal crash occurred at the
western periphery of the city from Piazza heating fuel, but on the other hand there semi-structural flood defence measures equipment storage facility to the north at the Italian Fire Service is highly airport. Earthquakes are a potentially
Dalmazia to Campi Bisenzio, which in are now an estimated 10,000 cars in and and has thus created many casse Sesto Fiorentino. professional and fully trained in all forms serious hazard in the Apennines north of
1991 was well and truly submerged. around the city centre. Where the Viali di d'espansione, meaning land which is held of rescue, measured per head of the the city, while landslides and occasional
Circumvalazione, the inner ring-road, dips vacant so that it can be flooded with Links between Florence and the population it is the smallest in Europe. snowfalls are hazards to many roads in
Despite these developments, many under the main railway line, it is minimal effects. A major dam and surrounding communities have gradually Currently, initiatives are being pursued to hilly and mountainous areas. Hence there
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decision-makers in Florence still regard extraordinarily vulnerable to sudden reservoir, the Bilancino, have been been strengthened, but there are expand it, including beefing up the is no shortage of work for the civil
the floods as detracting from the city's flooding. Moreover, the city's road constructed in the Mugello Mountains currently problems with the evacuation volunteer side. Nevertheless, the protection community in central Tuscany.