Peter Power / Visor Drill on July 7th

Joined: 1:46 AM - Nov 26, 2005

11:00 PM - Jun 30, 2006 #1



the Manchester Evening News 8th July 2005 final edition.
(author unknown as the article is part of a Terror Blast special page 5 right hand column)

KING’S CROSS MAN’S CRISIS COURSE

A FORMER Metropolitan Police Superintendent who was heavily involved in the aftermath of the King’s Cross fire in 1987 was running a crisis management course when the bombs went off yesterday.
Peter Power was involved in an exercise with a City company when london was attacked.
Mr Power said:
“I was an inspector at the time of the King’s Cross fire and was involved in co-ordinating the operation.
“After leaving the Met, I set up my own crisis management consultancy.
Yesterday, we were actually in the City working on an exercise involving mock broadcasts when it happened for real.
“When the news bulletins started coming on, people began to say how realistic our exercise was – not realising that there really was an attack. We then became involved in a real crisis which we had to manage for the company.

Mr Power added:”During the exercise we were working on yesterday, we were looking at a situation where there had been bombs at key London transport locations – although we weren’t specifically looking at a scenario where there had been a bomb on a bus.
“It’s a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out.”
The training exercise was well under way as A&E departments across the capital were deluged with people suffering from blast injuries from the terrorist attacks.

(Thanks to Paul for sending us this)
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 11:41 AM - Nov 25, 2005

2:49 PM - Sep 30, 2006 #2

A full transcript of the story above:
King's Cross man's crisis course

A FORMER Metropolitan Police superintendent who was heavily involved in the aftermath of the King's Cross fire in 1987 was running a crisis management course when the bombs went off yesterday. 

Peter Power was involved in an exercise with a City company when London was attacked.

Mr Power said: "I was an inspector at the time of the King's Cross fire and was involved in co-ordinating the operation.

"After leaving the Met, I set up my own crisis managment consultancy.  Yesterday we were actually in the City working on an exercise involving mock broadcasts when it happened for real.

"When news bulletins started coming on, people began to say how realistic our exercise was - not realising there was an attack.  We then became involved in a real crisis which we had to manage for the company."


Mr Power added: "During the exercise we were working on yesterday, we were looking at a situation where there had been bombs at Key London transport locations - although we weren't specifically looking at a scenario where there had been a bomb on a bus.

"It's a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out.
"

The training exercise was underway as A&E departments across the capital were deluged with people suffering from blast injuries from the terrorist attacks.

Many were ferried to hospital by a fleet of buses, as planned under the capitals emergency drill.

Many medical centres were put on a major incident alert within minutes of the bombings on the transport network.

Meanwhile, doctors and paramedics battled to save the most critically injured on train platforms.  Doctors at the British Medical Association helped treat casualties after the bus explosion outside their headquarters in Tavistock Square, which was splattered with blood.

Source: Manchester Evening News, Page 5 - 8th July 2005
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
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Joined: 11:41 AM - Nov 25, 2005

5:06 PM - Sep 30, 2006 #3

Peter Power on the usefulness of CCTV as reported on 11 July 2005:
Peter Power, a disaster-response consultant who used to work for Scotland Yard, said Canada hasn't taken the physical precautions that are standard in some other countries.

For example, he said closed-circuit television cameras are common all over London.

Although they didn't stop the recent transit bombings, they could prevent others and are a key investigative tool, he said.

In Canada, most politicians strongly oppose cameras in public places because of privacy concerns. Power said that's a sign that Canadians are not taking their safety seriously.

"You've got to sacrifice. Freedom is not free. ...You've got to pay something to get the dividend back."

Source: Canadians not psychologically braced for terrorism, McLellan says
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
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Joined: 3:21 PM - Dec 07, 2005

11:10 AM - Oct 03, 2006 #4

Just came across this article by Peter Power. Apologies if it's been previously posted, I did a search and couldn't seem to see it.
7/7 a year later, another day further away, or one day closer to the next one?
Submitted by Continuity Forum on Mon, 2006-10-23 10:18.News

Category Business Continuity Management BCM - Security - BCM Planning

Have business learned anything from 7/7, or is it easier to ignore the lessons?

It was a new threat, with a new response making all of us live in a sort of new normal. Or was it? Although 12 months ago was the first time suicide bombers hit the UK causing the Police to change from Dixon to Darth Vader overnight and Londoners at least to look at normality in a new way, have we really learnt anything?

In the finance sector for example, a lot of Business Continuity preparations were already in place. Indeed, financial companies as a group, have lead the way in private sector BC with more spend on disaster planning than anywhere else. But the City was not actually targeted. Instead ordinary people, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike were. 56 people died, many were inured and thousands more were so phased just reading about it or wondering why they failed to catch the train that day that the numbers of those who felt the impact a year ago runs into more than 5000. Just ordinary people who make ordinary companies actually run. Not systems or protocols but humans with their quirks, foibles and desires that cause them to become martyrs and victims in just a few seconds. And that’s what we have still to learn.

The killers of 9/11, Madrid and London belonged to the countries they attacked. They were not outsiders, but for them Ideology and faith came before country or even family and I know from my own research this will not change.

Recent figures have suggested there are at least 600 more radicalised young Muslim men in the UK ready and willing to follow the bombers of 7/7, so turning the boarders of this country into a fortress is not the answer. The problem is within and so are the solutions, and a direct parallel can be found in many organisations who considered the events of last July as a sort of wake up call.

So much is down to individual organisations to predict and prepare for the next one and not the blue light responders. They have more things to worry on a different scale. For us it’s about Duty of Care, Corporate Social Responsibility and realising that Insurance is about compensation – not Continuity and that’s where there are still big problems with BC plans.

Too many BC plans are still centred on recovering inanimate systems, premises and business functions. Not about recovering people. Even in the finance sector more than 50% of BC plans in a recent FSA survey, still have nothing at all to cope with fatalities.

We just do not link with a previous generation who in just a few months in the last world war saw 43,000 follow citizens killed by another form of terrorism. 140,000 more were physically injured and more than a million homes destroyed. But that was somehow in another world wholly unconnected with this century. But all around central London signs are still on the walls pointing to air raid shelters and until the Civil Contingencies Act appeared in 2004 we still had a legacy for dealing with civil catastrophes based on the same air raid sirens and Bakelite telephones that my parents were familiar with.

The truth is we are extraordinarily bad at learning from past tragedies as it’s easier to forget and smile rather than remember and be sad. Especially in the business world where at best it’s bombs & bird flu & banana skins as likely risks, with the most worrying being banana skins. Those stupid mistakes caused by disgruntled employees, having David Brent as your boss or just appalling risk management. But let’s look for a moment beyond the bombs of last July to find our why we are such poor learners.

What is it about crises that compel us to make the same mistakes over and over again? Some years ago I was asked to write a specific guidebook that was issued by the UK Government on how to try and prevent chaos in a crisis, but somehow I doubt if any Minister read it? Not that it was particularly good, but it did contain some useful ideas, including the need to recognise a crisis when you see it.

A few weeks ago just about every report and interview about the National Health Service pointed to it having a sustained crisis. At least £600m in the red and over 13,000 jobs threatened (according to the Royal College of Nurses). But that’s not exactly how Patricia Hewitt (Secretary of State for Health) saw it. It was for her, the ‘best year ever for the NHS’.

An assertion that echoed former Prime Ministers Harold McMillan in the severe austerity of post-war Britain telling the population ‘you’ve never had it so good’ and Jim Callaghan many years after, surrounded by a country on strike with rubbish and even dead bodies piling up proclaiming ‘Crisis. What crisis?

Damming stuff that lead in two cases (and who knows with the Home Office in similar trouble, maybe a third?) to the Government of the day being voted out. But Hewitt was in fact quoted out of context, as was McMillan. As for Callaghan he never actually said those words. The Sun Newspaper invented them. But in each case the damage was done. Perception and miscommunication did the rest.

We now end up not trusting any politician. The very people who, when our water pipes run dry, a flu pandemic grips the country or when we next take a massive terrorist hit, will appear on TV telling us what to do. Not to panic. To trust them. To somehow ignore the debacle of Foot & Mouth and the Fuel Dispute where the Government really lost it. But is it really like that?

Although many committed and hard working politicians are frequently misquoted and some lessons from July 2005 and other crises have been learned (so it is said), the truth is we perceive a worrying failure at the highest levels of this country to communicate in a crises and therein lies the real problem.

Failing to communicate or just sounding disingenuous, uncaring or out of touch leads to all sorts of catastrophes. Short term solutions create long term problems. Spin gets you nowhere and knee jerk statements return to bite you.

With a Bird Flu pandemic apparently on our door step, reports of 600 trained Al Quida terrorists at large in the UK and no end of our own corporate banana skins in front of us, ranging from disgruntled employees to fractured supply chains, are we any better off than 50 years ago? Do we really understand how perception works and how to properly identify, react and communicate in a crises? I fear not.

A few weeks ago the Cabinet Office and Continuity Forum conducted a Business Continuity survey in the UK. Over 1000 managers from all business sectors were asked, inter alia, what effect 15% staff absenteeism rates over a 2-3 week period of pandemic would have on their organisation. 90% said it would result in moderate to high levels of disruption. Some predicted far worse. But when asked if their organisation had any effective plans in place to deal with this only 16% beloved their plans were robust enough. 43% actually said they had no plans at all. I fully expect the same goes for terrorism.

When a simple human sneeze can, so I am told, travel up to 30 feet at 80 MPH and might end up killing more people than a suicide bomber on the tube this is indeed worrying. But it’s not just a pandemic we should be anxious about. It’s wider than that. It’s our all too frequent failure to learn from the past and to still refer to any crisis as a ‘wake up call’ and that includes the next bomb.

Although terrorism relays less on the bang and more on the fear of the bang to achieve its purpose the truth is, the alarm’s been ringing for ages to wake us up, but for most of us it’s easier to press snooze button than get up…

END

Peter Power is Managing Director of Visor Consultants - London.

Peter regularly appears on BBC & ITN News and has considerable front-line experience of many real crises. His research on crisis decision making is quoted in the UK Government (Cabinet Office) Guide on Integrated Emergency Management and he is the author of many other advice guidebooks including the original UK Govt. (DTI) booklet ‘Preventing Chaos in a Crisis' and in addition, is listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses. For more details on Visor Consultants please click HERE!.
http://www.continuityforum.org/news/200 ... n_bombings
"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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Joined: 11:31 PM - May 07, 2006

11:17 AM - Oct 03, 2006 #5

The killers of 9/11, Madrid and London belonged to the countries they attacked. They were not outsiders, but for them Ideology and faith came before country or even family and I know from my own research this will not change.

The killers of 9/11 belong to the country they attacked ? I thought 9/11 happened in the US and the killers -assuming Peter Power follows the official storyline- are presumed to be mainly Saudi's....
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Joined: 3:21 PM - Dec 07, 2005

11:19 AM - Oct 03, 2006 #6

*ahem* Exactly. It would be interesting to see exactly what Peter Power's own research was, how he carried it out and how he formed such conclusions when he can't even get such basic facts straight!

I put in bold some of his statements I found particularly ironic.
"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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Joined: 10:57 PM - Jan 24, 2006

11:51 AM - Oct 03, 2006 #7

Peter Power & his 'Big Up the Terror Threat' lot are members of http://www.survive.com, self-described as The Leading Professional Business Continuity Association. (I learnt this from a Survive November Conference 'plug' by PPower in the recent vid/audio link posted by Ant).

Survive are holding an annual conference on 20th Nov. 06 at which Peter Power, as Chairman, is giving the opening speech.

The Survive.com site has a 'Resource' page on the London Terrorist Attacks July 2005 , but you now have to register to view the documents...........
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984
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