International Conference on Emergency Preparedness (InterCEPt): The Challenges of Mass Evacuation held at Aston University

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From 21st-23rd September Aston Business School played host to the International Conference on Emergency Preparedness (InterCEPt), an event organised by the Aston CRISIS Centre. The conference’s theme was the challenges of mass evacuation. Support for the event came from the European Commission’s Prevention, Preparedness, and Consequence Management of Terrorism and other Security-related Risks Programme, which is managed by the Directorate-General Home Affairs.

Opening proceedings, Conference Chair Dr Pavel Albores said,

‘As a nation, we face challenging times, particularly in terms of safety and security, a theme which is high on the agenda of our coalition government. Through partnership working with the relevant authorities across the country we can work towards an effective and efficient strategy for mass evacuation.’

Intercept brought together academics, practitioners and researchers with an interest in finding out more about mass evacuation from over nine different countries. Presentations were given on a wide range of topics, ranging from evacuating people from the Eyjafjallajoekull to preparing for a terrorist attack on a dam. Events were divided between panels, three presentation streams, and plenary sessions.

Keynote speeches were provided by Professor William H. Starbuck, University of Oregon on cognitive reactions to rare events; Simon Lewis, British Red Cross who spoke about emergency planning and response through a multi-agency partnership; David BaMaung, Strathclyde Police on preventing mass evacuations due to terrorist attacks; and Víðir Reynisson, National Police of Iceland whose speech described the deployment of Iceland’s Civil Protection System.

The CRISIS Centre would like to thank all those who took part in InterCEPt, and looks forward to future collaborations on CRISIS-related projects.