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National Steering Committee on Warning & Informing the Public (NSCWIP)

Message from Chris Samuel, Chairman of NSCWIP

Over the last twelve months, emergency managers in the UK have been faced with a wide variety of major emergencies. Ranging from severe flooding in Carlisle, and the terrorist attacks in London to tornados in Birmingham and the recent Buncefield Oil Depot fire, they have all highlighted the need to ensure that not only are our communities educated about the risks they face and the actions to take in the event of an emergency, but that we have adequate warning and informing arrangements in place to ensure that we are able to communicate with the public both before, during, and after an incident.

The introduction of the Civil Contingencies Act in November 2004 has now given the responding agencies the tools to achieve those objectives, and it is the aim of the National Steering Committee for Warning and Informing the Public (NSCWIP) to provide advice and guidance to emergency managers in implementing the Communicating with the Public duty over the coming years.

Indeed, NSCWIP is the UK's primary independent advisory group on warning and informing the public. Created in 1997, it is a body with considerable expertise and experience, comprising of senior managers from the emergency services, local authorities, utilities, regulatory bodies, industry, as well as the broadcasting media. NSCWIP's role also includes the provision of advice to central and regional government, as well as the promotion of good practice around the country.

To provide the aforementioned support to frontline officers, NSCWIP has streamlined itself, with the three working groups being subsumed within the main committee.

There has also been a change of Chairperson with Chris Samuel (Civil Protection - Team Manager, Cheshire County Council) taking up the position. A big thanks goes to David Hay, the outgoing Chair, for all his hard work and leadership over the last six years, especially in steering the committee's work on the new Duty. The good news is that David will continue to be a member of NSCWIP providing the link to the Warning & Informing Capabilities work-stream which Government Office North East is leading on.

That's the update for now but please do take the opportunity to look around the website, read our reports, or if you have any questions on warning and informing, please contact us at the following address: nscwipwebmaster@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk