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Community and City Resilience and COVID-19  – A Series of Webinars

The Emergency Planning Society’s series of webinars – Community and City Resilience and COVID-19 – is to continue next week with its second virtual event to be held on July 6th.

The series centres around Community & City Resilience and Covid19 and the various themes that encompass recovery. Speakers throughout the series will explore recovery from a number of different perspectives including the physical and psychological human impacts, community displacement, economic factors, infrastructure, disruption to daily life and environmental issues.

The second webinar conversation, Living Life to the Full and The Environment, will be held at 2pm on Monday July 6th.


The event’s first speaker, Caroline Douglass, is Director of Incident Management and Resilience Environment Agency and she will speak on “Covid 19 – Response and Restart In the Environment Agency”.

Her talk will explore how the Environment Agency has used its existing incident response structures and approach to respond to Covid-19, which is a long running business continuity incident. She will also discuss the agency’s approach to recovery or ‘Restart’ and the issues that have arisen – including the need to ensure we are ready for the climate emergency.

Caroline will be joined by Professor Chris Williams who is Director at Five Areas Ltd and Emeritus Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry University of Glasgow. He will discuss “Living life to the full and recovering communities”.

Professor Williams’ talk will explore the pressure communities have been under over recent months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For some this has been a time of high pressure and fear, with fears of infection, illness and death affecting themselves, family or friends. During the webinar session, we will look at the impact of various common anxiety-related conditions and how together they cause inappropriately excessive and prolonged impacts on individuals that may need formal psychological inputs to overcome.

This series of sharing webinars and interactive discussions are aimed at those working in, or with an interest in, resilience, emergency management, crisis management, community and city resilience.

The first of the series, “The Foundations of Community Resilience” was led by Professor Donald Kettl, the Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin.

EPS Chair Jacqui Semple said: “This series of webinars are a great opportunity for disaster management and resilience professionals to explore different aspects of COVID-19, its impact on our communities and a variety of themes surrounding recovery. They are an invaluable learning tool and one which I’m sure all resilience professionals will find extremely informative.”

The event is free of charge and will be held on July 6th at 2pm. To book your place, please email admin@the-eps.org

The EPS is the UK’s leading professional body for those working in resilience and emergency planning. www.the-eps.org

Our Speakers

Caroline Douglass

Caroline is the Director for Incident Management and Resilience for the Environment Agency and is responsible for establishing leading and delivering the approach to planning, preparedness and response to flood and environmental incidents by the Environment Agency.  With over 25 years’ experience in the public service, Caroline worked with the State Government in Victoria, Australia prior to moving to the UK in 2011.

She has a background in land and natural resource management and emergency management covering both policy and operational areas.  Her experience in emergency management and incident response includes bushfire and flood response in Australia, the United States and the UK, including the 13/14, 15/16 and 2020 flood events in England.  In 2008 she was the first female to lead a contingent of Australian and New Zealand firefighters to support the United States in Northern California with bushfire response.  Caroline appeared as an expert witness at the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

Caroline has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the University of Melbourne and completed the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School in 2012.

Professor Chris Williams

Dr Chris Williams is Emeritus Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow. His main work is in the development and evaluation of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches that aim to provide wider access to care. This includes the free-access www.llttf.com life skills course which is the most recommended web-based course used by NHS England IAPT services and mental health trusts (Bennion et al, 2017 BMJ Open).

He is an award-winning author of a wide range of written and computer-based self-help supports for low mood, stress and more.  He is medical adviser to Anxiety UK (www.anxietyuk.org.uk) and Patron of the charity Triumph over Phobia (www.topuk.org). His work has included developing online and also class-based life skills programmes- which have been translated into Somali, French, Chinese, Italian, Urdu and Romanian, as well as books in 11 other languages. He is a Past-President on 2 occasions of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (www.babcp.com) – the leading body for CBT in the UK.

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