London is the world leader in catastrophe planning

Published 1 December 2005

There will always be an England: Perhaps it is the legacy of the blitz, or the years of coping with IRA attacks, but London continues to lead the world in contingency business planning for major emergencies, a congressional homeland security panel was told. The city even set up a body — the U.K. government-backed London Resilience Committee — to do disaster and recovery planning. Ian Weatherhead, business development manager of the London Chamber of Commerce and the business representative on the Resilience Committee, listed the detailed structures that made Britain better prepared than ever for catastrophic incidents. The Congress panel is gathering information on how Britain handles crises, which could demand rapid top-level response and involve mass evacuation of a city or region.

At the heart of London’s disaster planning is a command and control protocol which sets out how London can respond in the event of “sudden impact or rising tide.” On 28 November the U.K. financial sector ran a business continuity exercise in which some eighty firms were tested for their ability to respond to a crisis such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

-read more in this Lloyd’s List report; and see the London Prepared Web site