A new Cabinet Office guide encourages the ‘responder’ community to adopt the use of digital mapping and GI mapping systems as an effective tool in contingency planning.
A new guide to improving the resilience of critical infrastructure and essential services, published by the Cabinet Office in October 2011, highlights the important role which accurate mapping data plays in improving the resilience of the UK’s critical infrastructure to disruption from natural hazards. The report follows the recent Cabinet Office consultation - Keeping the Country Running: Natural Hazards and Infrastructure.
The Civil Contingencies Secretariat in Cabinet Office, working with MOD and Ordnance Survey, has created a set of common map symbols, to promote interoperability between emergency responders. Work is now underway to make these symbols available, at no cost to end users, in a technical format that can be downloaded and used within existing Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
A report into the findings of Exercise Watermark, Britain’s biggest ever civil emergency exercise, designed to test the country’s response to floods has recognised the value of geographic information within incident planning and response. During the Exercise, Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping and imagery services were demonstrated at COBR and the following recommendation is stated within the final report:
Recommendation 17: The review recommends that government should consider how to use technology better for information sharing and reporting to inform the national and local responses. Government should consider using a live, simple (mandatory) common information platform to use for mapping, digital visualisation, media and other source information.
On 9 May 2011 Defra’s Secretary of State launched Climate Resilient Infrastructure: Preparing for a Changing Climate, a cross-Government report that outlines the challenges to the transport, energy, water and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure sectors to adapting to climate change. The report sets out what action needs to be taken by infrastructure owners and operators, regulators, insurers and the Government.