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Improve your resilience and contingency planning

Securing critical national infrastructure

In a fast-changing world, having access to the most detailed and up-to-date geographic information (GI) has never been more vital. Natural hazards and security threats have sharpened the focus of Government, utility and infrastructure providers on the need to review their defences and the adequacy of contingency planning should supplies fail.

The nature of our country's complex interdependent infrastructure, coupled by a reliance on a huge network of distributed goods and services, means that failure of just one aspect can have devastating and widespread consequences.

To better prepare and respond more robustly to situations, you need to have timely availability of common data and shared operational understanding between infrastructure operators and responders.

The Cabinet Office guide to improving the resilience of critical infrastructure and essential services encourages the adoption of GI and mapping systems as an effective contingency planning tool. GI can be used to map and attribute data to key buildings, transport routes, water supplies, energy and telecommunications networks for collaborative planning and sharing of critical information. GI is already being used operationally by many infrastructure partners, industry bodies and government organisations to improve hazard and threat responses.

Know your assets and plan

Legislation, including the Water Act and the Pitt review (an independent review of the July 2007 flooding), has identified that many emergency responders had an inadequate understanding of:

  • the location of critical sites
  • the mapping of vulnerability to flooding
  • the consequences of loss; and
  • dependencies on other critical infrastructure assets.

Knowing where your assets are, is vital to identifying critical infrastructure and vulnerability to risk. Managing detailed information on the location, character and risk profile of utility assets is not just good commercial sense; it is a regulatory requirement and an essential first step for contingency planning.

Benefits of using GI

The visual aspect of our data can help you decide the risk element of an existing or a new asset. It provides context in terms of the topography, transport infrastructure and identifies commercial and residential properties within the immediate proximity of sites; enabling you to associate your own information to an asset including its function, history, setting, usage, interaction with other structures and customer information.

All of this information used in an intelligent and integrated way provides the national framework for:

  • Identifying the exact location and status of your assets
  • Common referencing and sharing of data
  • Managing impact on service provision down to single household level
  • Evidence-based investment strategies

Our accurate location data is crucial at all stages of your risk management process – from prevention to protection, response and recovery. It gives you real-time visualisation and reduces your overall costs by helping you and cross-government agencies to be more efficient.

Relevant products

Take a look at the following products which can help you to improve your resilience and contingency planning:

Related case studies

Using geographic information has enabled Anglian Water to decide where best to site mobile bowsers during major interruptions to water supply.

United Utilities uses OS MasterMap to improve service levels, water quality and business performance.

More information

A new online mapping service has been launched as part of the Cabinet Office Resilience Direct multi-agency tool.

OS MasterMap® is Ordnance Survey's most comprehensive product, containing a suite of different layers, each of which provides a different aspect of valuable mapping data for use in a Geographic Information system (GIS).

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