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The KFS at the Disaster Research Conference (“Fachtagung Katastrophenforschung”) 2024

News from May 13, 2024

The Disaster Research Unit (DRU) was in attendance at this year's Disaster Research Conference (original name in German: Fachtagung Katastrophenforschung) in Berlin on 22. & 23. April with several contributions.

Das Panel „Bevölkerungsschutz am Limit? Bestandsaufnahme zum Katastrophen- und Krisenmanagement“ mit (v.l.) Thomas Prinzler, Marlis Cremer, Leon Eckert, Frank Jörres & Prof. Martin Voss.

The panel „Bevölkerungsschutz am Limit? Bestandsaufnahme zum Katastrophen- und Krisenmanagement“ with (from the left) Thomas Prinzler, Marlis Cremer, Leon Eckert, Frank Jörres & Prof. Martin Voss. Source: DRU

Prof. Martin Voss kicked things off on Monday as a panelist in the session “Civil protection at its limit? Current Survey of Disaster and Crisis Management” (in German: “Bevölkerungsschutz am Limit? Bestandsaufnahme zum Katastrophen- und Krisenmanagement”). During the panel, which was moderated by Thomas Prinzler, Prof. Voss discussed the current challenges faced by German civil protection and the future need for action to improve its performance with the other panelists, including, Leon Eckert (MP Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Marlis Cremer (StädteRegion Aachen) and Frank Jörres (DRK). Prof. Voss particularly emphasized the need for comprehensive action in Germany- particularly when faced with multiple and interlinked crises- to create an effective civil protection service. In particular, the capacities of civil protection were severely neglected, starting after the end of the Cold War, and thus there exists a considerable need to rebuild such capacities. Prof. Voss additionally emphasized that in order to increase the resilience of the population its role in civil protection must be rethought from the ground up and that the implementation of a few minor reforms will not be enough.

Later that day, the DRU’s Peter Windsheimer, alongside Marvin Schulte (ITWM), Ye Eun Bae & David Kaub (both DFKI), presented the research project SEMSAI in the session “The SEMSAI Research Project - Predicting the Development of Pandemics”. The presentation discussed both the models developed by DFKI and ITWM to predict the course of the pandemic, as well as the social science research conducted by the DRU to identify and integrate feedback effects into the models.

Teilnehmer*innen des Workshops Nothilfe in und für die Ukraine am 23. April 2024.

Participants of the workshop “Emergency Assistance in and for Ukraine” (German: “Nothilfe in und für die Ukraine”) on April 23, 2024. Source: DRU / Peter Windsheimer

On Tuesday, April 23, Dr. Cordula Dittmer and Dr. Daniel F. Lorenz led a workshop on the topic “Emergency Assistance in and for Ukraine- Lessons to Learn for German Civil Protection” (German: “Nothilfe in und für die Ukraine – Lessons to learn für den deutschen Zivil-/Bevölkerungsschutz”). Mario Göb (DKH), Stefan Mönnich (JUH), Stina Seingraeber and Michael Schnatz (both ASB) reported on their experiences during humanitarian cooperation with local partner organizations in Ukraine. Several lessons for German civil protection could be derived from these first-hand experiences. Nicolas Bock gave a final presentation on the state of German civil protection with a focus on public health protection. Individual speakers were subsequently interviewed for an audio recording.

The conference was also supported by the Katastrophennetz e.V., a network initiated by the KFS and chaired by Dr. Daniel F. Lorenz.

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