On This Day in History – Toddbrook Reservoir

The media last week was full of dramatic images of flooding in London: the disruption to Tube stations and two major hospitals causing particular concern.  But, exactly two years ago, we were facing an even more serious flooding incident here in the High Peak. Sustained rainfall through late July 2019 had filled Toddbrook Reservoir to […]

Toddbrook Reservoir – What Went Wrong?

Two reports have now been completed into the cause of the failure of the slipway at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge on 1st August 2019: The “Toddbrook Reservoir Independent Review Report” by Professor David Balmforth, commissioned by DEFRA; and “Report on the Nature and Root Cause of the Toddbrook Reservoir Auxiliary Spillway Failure on 1st […]

Impact of Severe Weather Events Falling (at Least in the UK)

It often feels like the news is filled with stories of more and more devastating natural disasters around the world.  Even here in the UK, the perception is of an increasing incidence of extreme weather events; but, interestingly, data would suggest that this is not the case. I recently came across the excellent EM-DAT Emergency Events […]

Voters Reward Disaster Relief but not Disaster Prevention

I came across a fascinating article recently by Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra entitled “Myopic Voters and Natural Disaster Policy”.  The authors reconciled local data from across the US on government spending on various aspects of disaster preparedness and disaster relief, with election results in each area.  Their key finding was that politicians were rewarded, […]

Rain, wind and snow

Whilst the UK has been battered with wind and rain over the last couple of weeks, with some coastal areas suffering substantial damage and both inland and coastal areas experiencing flooding, over in the US, there have been freezing conditions, with temperatures plummeting down below -50 (including wind chill). Both situations have highlighted the difficulties […]

Business Continuity Awareness Week – Day 5

In previous years, Business Continuity Awareness Week has usually been enlivened by some real incidents and disruptions, but this year it has been very quiet.  Could it be that the Business Continuity message is getting through, and that organisations are becoming more and more resilient?  Up until yesterday, the biggest story of the week had […]

Severe Weather – Silly Arguments but Useful Lessons

As the worst of the current blast of winter weather passes, the debate over how well the UK Government and transport networks handled the disruption intensifies.  As was argued on this blog last winter, the fact that things go badly wrong every once in a while is probably a good sign.  The fact that we get two […]

Business Continuity in Severe Weather

Severe weather is very much in the news recently with last week’s flooding in Cornwall and forecasts of heavy snow and ice this weekend.  What are the implications for Business Continuity? Clearly, extreme weather can disrupt businesses in many ways.  As well as loss of access to premises and unavailability of staff (both through transport disruption and […]

Chaos on Britain's Roads

The prolonged cold weather and heavy snow over the last few weeks have caused chaos on Britain’s roads. Are the current difficulties in keeping our roads open a cause for concern or evidence of a sensible cost-benefit analysis? The media have spent a lot of time in recent weeks showing pictures and video of blocked […]