There is a lot of attention on the issues about how emergencies are handled. In Birmingham we have an approach which has various levels of emergency. There are two central control rooms and people should be getting used to emergency management.
We will be moving away from having the people in the emergency heirarchy determined by seniority and instead being determined by qualifications and abilities. It is the process of being used to levels of importance for emergencies which makes it possible for people to cope with a more important emergency.
Having a tsunami warning system that comes into operation once every 100 years would be insufficient. Any warning system needs to be part of a general emergency communication system otherwise people will not respond properly to the emergency.
Knowing what I do about government, however, I really wonder if anyone is trying to coordinate all the disparate activities going on from the UN, NGOs and Government. One would hope that there is a proper coordination system somewhere within the UN handling these issues and passing on information.
We are doing an amount of coordination in Birmingham by passing information between local groups handing the relief effort. I shall be doing some more on this tomorrow.
There are reports that some Territorials are going to be mobilised to Sri Lanka.