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After events such as the Paris shootings, Ebola and super typhoon Haiyan, ensuring that we are prepared to deal with the consequences of disasters is as urgent now as it has ever been.

The Emergency Planning Society is therefore holding a National Workshop on Humanitarian Assistance to explore the challenges facing emergency responders in dealing compassionately and effectively with people in the aftermath of disasters.

The event will take place on:

Thursday 26 March

9.30 – 16.00

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

The aim of the National Workshop is to provide an opportunity for professionals working in this field to help shape future practice.

EPS chair Tony Thompson said: : “Compared to previous decades, we have been very fortunate that there have been no mass-fatality incidents in the UK since the 7/7 bombings in 2005. However, in a modern, industrial society such as the UK with a population of 60 million, that luck cannot hold out forever.

“Currently, local authorities, supported by voluntary agencies, take the lead in dealing and caring with the victims and survivors in the aftermath of a major incident or disaster. For some time emergency planning practitioners and central government have been concerned that the transition between the response to an emergency and its recovery has not been joined up.

“But there are indications from central government that this will change, and the aim of this national workshop is to contribute to the process with input from key practitioners in this sector.”

Speakers include Pam Dix (Disaster Action), Rebecca Stockwell (Humanitarian Assistance, Cabinet Office), Sandra Howitt (Red Cross), Simon Williams (Director, Royal London Borough of Merton) and Duncan McGarry presenting on Disaster Victim Identification.

Key areas of discussion will be on:

Reviewing the impact of emergencies on people
A national framework for humanitarian assistance
The role of central Government
Maintaining dignity in death
Establishing local leadership
Role of the voluntary sector
Ensuring an ethical, effective and sustainable response

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