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Letter: It's high time we increased civil protection

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SIR – In response to Peter Powers' eloquently worded letter regarding a greater need for resilience (Letters, 27th May).

Like Peter, I'm an emergency planner by profession and one of our roles is to continually scan the horizon and look at existing and emerging threats and risks that can have an impact on the population, environment and security and, from this analysis, then develop contingency arrangements to best mitigate how those risk impacts can be reduced.

The challenges of asymmetric ongoing events or emergencies such as Brexit, Covid-19 and now the looming cloud on the horizon, the Ukrainian conflict, has shown that our existing national capability and capacity is at significant risk.

A Ukraine school levelled by missiles
A Ukraine school levelled by missiles

When it was felt that the Cold War threat had evaporated, so too did our civil defence and civil protection.

The contingency infrastructure to ensure supply chain, communications and alike that started pre-World War 2 and up until the 1980s, if maintained and even funded would have provided us with a solid base in which to move forward.

We contingency-plan via best endeavours but, as Peter commented, our current national resilience is no longer fit for purpose and needs a wholesale review and if ever there was a time to enhance our nation's civil protection it's now!

Tim Pettis – emergency preparedness, resilience and response advisor,


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