A state of preparedness

This report from UK think tank Reform looks at how government can build resilience to civil emergencies.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious civil emergency this country has faced in peacetime; unprecedented in its scale, complexity, and duration. Despite the fact that extensive central government machinery exists to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to civil emergencies, the pandemic has exposed critical shortcomings in preparedness and resilience. The Government has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure that lessons are learned and will not be repeated. A pandemic was far from an unthinkable event before COVID-19 – government knew it was a matter of if, not when. The same is true of many of other risks the country faces that are included in the National Risk Register and that could have severe impacts. Pandemics, nor any other risks, do not wait for public enquiries which takes years to complete. Government must seize this opportunity to get on the front foot and act to improve state preparedness for future emergencies. Reform’s new research highlights deficiencies in the way that government anticipates, prepares for and responds to emergencies, and puts forward a range of solutions to help the Government build long-term resilience.

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