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UK Emergency Planning College develops a free learning resource for the public on preparing for emergencies 

Staying Safe: How to be Prepared in the Modern World

Have you ever considered what you would do in an emergency situation? How would you keep yourself and others safe?

On 19th November, The Emergency Planning College (EPC) will release their first free online course for the public, which aims to help you prepare for one of those ‘what if’ moments. The course is hosted by FutureLearn, the Open University Partner for online education and supported by many other professionals who lead in their area of expertise.  

What is the aim of the course?

The course has two critical aims:

  • To reach out to the public, helping them understand risks and hazards that can lead to emergency situations and how they can prepare themselves, their family and their community.
  • To focus on a business’s greatest asset - its employees. Where better to start your organisational resilience than within an employee’s own home. In times of need, they can be resilient at home, enabling more effective support for their employer.

During the course, learner is helped to understand real risks and potential consequences as they hear the personal accounts of those who have been affected by events. This clarifies the context of the wider risks they may face. They will learn to prioritise risks, lessen effects and plan to deal with risks that may arise. Helping learners identify the realistic threats they may face and producing a practical, personal Emergency Plan.

This is an interactive experience where the learner is encouraged throughout to share their thoughts with both fellow learners and their virtual trainer through social, digital learning.

What does the course cover?

Throughout the course, the following questions are addressed:

  • What are your concerns and perceptions of emergencies?
  • How are emergencies assessed through risk tools?
  • What risks, hazards and threats could we face and where do they originate?
  • Where can you obtain further information?
  • How you can assess local risks?
  • What are the impacts and consequences of emergencies?
  • How are people affected and how do they cope with the situation?
  • How does the UK prepare, plan and respond?

How can you prepare:

  • At home
  • In your workplace
  • At school
  • When out and about
  • On holiday

During the course, is explained how the UK identifies national risks and how identifying these threats and hazards allows us to intelligently assess the likelihood and consequences of what we might face in an emergency. This in turn allows the UK to prioritise resources into prevention programmes, recourse to support response and ultimately lessen the effects of an emergency.

The learner is encouraged to think about what is likely to affect them in their locality and what the effects on them might be. From there, they produce their own Risk Register and Emergency Plan.

How the course supports business continuity

Learners are encouraged to ask their organisations about business continuity planning and the role they can play in supporting the preparation and response to any potential emergencies. The course doesn’t just help individuals in being prepared and a little more resilient, it also supports organisations by being a first step in a wider programme of organisational resilience.

The EPC encourages organisations to discuss how this could be used to support organisational resilience (business continuity) training programmes. It is managed by Serco, for and on behalf of the UK Government Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat.

To access the course, go to and sign up today. 

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