Dr. Boustras: Unprecedented disasters prompt urgent calls for risk assessment review


Unfortunately, this year has been a game changer in terms of risk prediction as the scale and impact of recent disasters has been unprecedented, Dr. George Boustras Professor of Risk Assessment at the European University Cyprus, Director of CERIDES and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Christodoulides on Crisis Management and Civil Protection, has said.

Speaking at the Economist conference entitled: “Protecting Lives – Building Resilience”, which was held in Thessaloniki, Professor Boustras added that although there are both national and local risk assessments for various potential threats, the magnitude and impact of disasters this year have been unprecedented. It is therefore “time to step back, study the events and assess whether prevention systems, disaster management practices and review post-event management”, he explained.

We need to re-evaluate our decision-making processes based on the fact that incidents that were considered unlikely to happen – in the past – are now much more likely to happen, Professor Boustras pointed out indicating at the same time that on a European level we need to further strengthen #rescEU and identify highly focused technological developments that should be funded.

He also noted that disasters are slowly but surely becoming a new breeding ground for the development and adoption of fake news, sometimes as part of a wider hybrid threat. At the societal level, we must – as a priority – educate our communities, and define, and redefine risk communication strategies, he urged.