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Hoping for the best …

By [email protected] - 24th February 2016 - 15:59

… but preparing for the worst is very much the theme of this issue. The effects of the winter floods may be receding in the public consciousness, but agencies up and down the land are busy assessing how the next disaster can be mitigated, if not averted.

As we go to press, London is preparing itself for Unified Response, an exercise in which its emergency services will be put to the test over four days in responding to a simulated disaster.1 In the biggest ever multi-agency training exercise of its kind, large numbers of personnel, vehicles and equipment must be deployed to the right place, at the right time and in the right numbers. In this context, the work described by David Eagle on page 51 should make no small contribution.

In the air, the use of UAVs to monitor unfolding situations is proving itself a valuable tool for emergency response, a topic covered by Paul Drury on page 54, while an article by Alun Jones on page 57 follows-up on our last editorial by explaining how a new UK-wide database will help the insurance industry more accurately assess flood damage to properties

Hoping for the best is seldom a good strategy in business thinking, and complacency is certainly not in the vocabulary of Ordnance Survey’s CEO, Nigel Clifford.

With 20,000 man-years of experience currently residing in the organisation, one would have thought the OS reasonably future-proof. The reality is that this knowledge pool is ageing, just as new technical, economic and socio-political challenges are emerging. Clifford is in no doubt as to the answer. “We need to be encouraging the next generation of disruption in the marketplace,” was his message to a packed auditorium at the RICS in London earlier this year. Part of that future-proofing strategy can be seen in OS backing for the Geovation Hub, a topic covered by Alistair Maclenan on page 60.

Britain’s armed services must be equally attuned to threats – actual and potential - and it was good to hear that those in charge of its Geographic Intelligence (GEOINT) resources are getting their act together – quite literally – at RAF Wyton. You can read more in our report on the DGI 2016 event on page 62