Disaster Planning Through Simulation Modelling

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The ‘New Dimension’ programme aims to prepare the UK’s emergency services to respond to major catastrophic events (natural, accidental or terrorist). The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister sought to research how best to spend the ~£200 million that was allocated to the Fire and Rescue Service. We prepared models that aimed to support policy advisors in their assessment of evidence-based policy decisions on how to best prepare such a response. We worked closely with the analysts and other stakeholders to understand the systemic interactions between diverse aspects of the catastrophic event that may combine to make any response more complex. This knowledge informed our development of a suite of sophisticated simulation models which aimed to enable policy makers to appreciate the combining effects of policy decisions. Given the uncertainties around such events, we built fully generic models which are flexible enough to explore a wide range of event-types and response requirements, allowing policy makers to potentially understand the impact of their decisions on the sector’s ability to respond to a range of events. The models continues to assist analysts in judging the impact of high-level policies and are also now being tested by the Australian Government.
Duncan Shaw
Pavel Albores