UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Space Weather - a risk you might not be aware of

13 June 2016

Do you use a map application on your smartphone? Have you watched a weather forecast lately?

Been on a mainline train, or watched satellite television? If the answer to any of those questions is 'yes' then you've benefited from space technology.

Even if you answered 'no', space technology is now used in all sorts of everyday services. As technology develops, and becomes more interconnected, it's increasingly important we understand the potential risks.

The London Risk Register includes a risk regarding space weather and earlier this week we attended a very informative event hosted by University College London to consider what other actions can be taken to make people more aware of this risk.

The direct risk to people is very low, but the worst case scenario could see disruption to services such as electricity and communications. The simple steps that you can take at home and at work for powercuts would be just as important in a space weather event. For more information about Space Weather the Royal Academy of Engineers issued a report (opens in PDF) last year which we think is very helpful.

What do you think makes London a resilient city?

A little closer to home, we have been discussing the review of the London Resilience Strategy this week. Send us your thoughts on resilience to @LDN_prepared or LRT@london-fire.gov.uk.  

London Tree Week

We've blogged before about the importance of trees for resilience. Not only do can they help reduce the risk of flooding, they help reduce wind speeds, provide a buffer against extreme temperatures and stabilise soils and slopes. You could win a London Tree Week prize (28 May - 5 June) just by sharing your pictures on Twitter or Instagram using #LondonTreeWeek.