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Hundreds of people are expected to attend an open day at the University of Portsmouth in March showcasing global, national, and local emergency and humanitarian services.

The event, which takes place from 10:00am through 4:00pm on Wednesday 15th March at the university’s Ravelin Park in Museum Road, is a chance for anyone interested in seeing the workings of disaster relief, including geo-mapping, flood relief, and rescuing those stranded at sea or on mountains or after earthquakes.

Alongside an extensive exhibition staffed by those working at the frontline of emergency services worldwide, there will also be a series of talks from those first on the ground when an emergency strikes.

The event is organised by Naomi Morris (lead image), who teaches on the university’s MSc Crisis and Disaster management course in between stints abroad using her expertise in emergency response to help respond to natural and manmade disasters.

Naomi is also secretariat to the United Nations-supported Simulations and Training Network, works in Portsmouth as a paramedic, and volunteers for MapAction, who gather crucial mapping data to help aid agencies, governments, and local partners deliver aid and emergency supplies to the right place quickly.

The open day, open to all, is a prelude to the world’s biggest annual emergency simulation exercise taking place in Portsmouth in May — an event also being run by Naomi.

The major three-day simulated emergency exercise is the largest of hundreds of similar exercises taking place globally every year for a wide range of parties including governments, military, humanitarian organisations, and individuals.

Such exercises organisations an opportunity to better understand the different terminologies, planning cycles, and processes employed, helping them work towards the common goal of saving lives.

Naomi said: “In addition to wanting to engage many more people in the work of emergency response, helping equip them with skills to help on the frontline or behind the scenes, or even to garner their support and understanding for the work of disaster relief, exercises such as the open day in March and the major international exercise in Portsmouth in May give us a much better chance of being able to help those in need in the face of dwindling funds for emergency response nationally and internationally.”

Exhibitors and speakers at the open day event include the Foreign Commonwealth Office, Department of International Development, United Nations, Police, Fire Brigade, National Health Service England, Red Cross, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, and the Coastguard.

No booking is required for this event — attendees can just turn up. Find out more »

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