On March 15th and 16th 2016, over 80 researchers and practitioners from across Europe and beyond were brought together for the final conference of the POP-ALERT and TACTIC projects. The conference provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about increasing preparedness to various types of risk, engage in lively discussions, and to network with other key stakeholders interested in preparedness.

TACTIC and POP-ALERT, sister projects both funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, focus on tools for increasing community preparedness for large-scale and cross-border disasters. The first day of the conference began with welcoming speeches from Philippe Quevauviller and Quillaume Lapeyre from the Research Executive Agency, European Commission, who provided insight into the common themes addressed by both projects and highlighted the motivations for funding research involving communities. For instance, both TACTIC and POP-ALERT focus on:

  • The relationship between risk perception and preparedness; how do the public perceive different types of risk and what do these perceptions mean for preparedness?
  • The importance of an effective risk communication strategy
  • The use of technologies to prepare both organisations and the general public for large-scale and cross-border disasters; this includes the POP-ALERT Dashboard and the TACTIC Online Self-Assessment Platform (TOSAP)
  • Participatory approaches involving the involvement of stakeholders in the development of preparedness tools through the use of pilots (POP-ALERT) and case study workshops (TACTIC)
  • The collection of good practices in community preparedness

The introductory presentations from TACTIC’s (Christian Kuhlicke) and POP-ALERT’s (Hara Caracostas) coordinators also highlighted the key differences that make the projects complementary. While Christian spoke about the different tools that TACTIC’s partners have developed for four hazards (flooding, terrorism, earthquakes and epidemics/pandemics), Hara presented on POP-ALERTS all hazards approach and the project’s focus on increasing the preparedness of different communities (e.g., tourists, expats, refugees). Despite the differences between the two projects, increasing community preparedness to respond to crises and disasters is the core objective.

Please find all the presentations from Day 1 (POP-ALERT) here and from day 2 (TACTIC) here.