UK — New tool improving MOD weather resistance

The MOD is devel­op­ing plans to defend its estab­lish­ments from an increas­ing threat – the chang­ing envi­ron­ment around us.

A military truck makes its way through flood water during the 2007 floods
A mil­i­tary truck makes its way through flood water dur­ing the 2007 floods
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Defence Estates (DE) is lead­ing the ear­ly recon­nais­sance efforts in the bat­tle to improve busi­ness resilience against cur­rent and future dis­rup­tive weath­er relat­ed events. 

Under the UK Cli­mate Change Act (2008) and the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment in Gov­ern­ment (SDiG) tar­gets, the MOD is required to car­ry out an assess­ment of the risks from the impacts of cli­mate change on the man­age­ment and oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty of its most crit­i­cal sites by 2013. The Depart­ment is also required to report on how it is pro­gress­ing on adapt­ing its sites in response to any chal­lenges that emerge. 

David Mur­phy, who leads the Cab­i­net Office work on resilience of crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, explains: 

“The 2007 floods high­light­ed the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of our nation­al infra­struc­ture to dis­rup­tion from nat­ur­al haz­ards. Many peo­ple were affect­ed when essen­tial ser­vices were dis­rupt­ed, includ­ing the sup­ply of water for 350,000 peo­ple for up to 17 days. 

“Own­ers of crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture should under­stand the poten­tial for dis­rup­tion from weath­er relat­ed events under our exist­ing and future cli­mates, and take action to ensure essen­tial ser­vices are resilient.” 

In response to this require­ment, DE has recent­ly com­plet­ed the devel­op­ment of its “Cli­mate Impact Risk Assess­ment Method” (CIRAM) tool. CIRAM can be applied by the Armed Forces and oth­er MOD organ­i­sa­tions at their estab­lish­ments to iden­ti­fy cli­mate relat­ed risks and deter­mine actions to increase or main­tain resilience to these cli­mat­ic pressures 

Brigadier Jim Bow­den, DE‘s Head of Estate Devel­op­ment and Prop­er­ty, adds: 

“Turn­ing a blind eye to our resilience is not an option if we are to deliv­er oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty and pro­vide a safe place to live, work and train and CIRAM is a vital tool in this respect.” 

Five sites across the MOD estate were iden­ti­fied to test the devel­op­ment of CIRAM – Abbey Wood, Bris­tol; Roy­al Marines Bar­racks, Chivenor, North Devon; RAF Kin­loss, Scot­land; Roy­al School of Mil­i­tary Engi­neer­ing Min­ley, Hamp­shire and final­ly Thor­ney Island in West Sussex. 

The pilot stud­ies were select­ed to test not only dif­fer­ent geo­graph­i­cal loca­tions but also because they reflect a range of oper­a­tional out­puts from offices to airfields. 

DE’s approach is cer­tain­ly meet­ing with Cab­i­net Office approval, as David Mur­phy says: 

“The imple­men­ta­tion of CIRAM for the MOD estate is an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the Government’s pro­gramme to assess cli­mate risks and improve the resilience of the UK’s crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture to nat­ur­al hazards.” 

This an edit­ed ver­sion of an arti­cle by Hen­ry Wil­son, first pub­lished in the Spring edi­tion of Estate­ment mag­a­zine. You can read the full arti­cle by fol­low­ing the ‘Relat­ed Link’ to Estatement. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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