2nd Franco-German Workshop on Urban Resilience and Crisis Management – Global to local security topics for future collaboration

Experts from France and Germany participated in a two-days workshop in Cologne, Nov 22 & 23.2017. The overall goal of the workshop series is to establish and sustain French-German cooperation. Under the umbrella of security, risk and resilience topics, working groups were specifically working on

  • Global security challenges
  • Societal and technological change and its impact on crisis management
  • Resilience and vulnerability concept and methodology advancement

The results are briefly summarised here: Summary of 2nd FR-GER Workshop_web



Risky Monday: emergency.lu

RiskyMonday_Hoffmann_FlyerOn Monday December 11th we welcome you to a new session of the lecture series “Risky Monday”. Gilles Hoffmann from the Luxembourg Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs presents the telecommunication plattform emergency.lu. which is a mobile, satellite based, telecommunications platform, created to re-establish communication (internet, phone) after a disaster, to support the coordination efforts of humanitarian organisations in the field and to contribute to saving lives during humanitarian emergencies. On the basis of exampes from the fields in Haiti 2010 and in the Philippines 2013 he discusses the importance of telecommunication for effective disaster management.

Gilles Hoffmann is the emergency.lu coordinator within the Luxembourg Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs  has has been involved in several mission in support of the Emergency Telecommunication Cluster; amongst others to the Philippines for the Typhoon Haiyan response, Ebola response in West Africa, and the Nepal Earthquake 2015.

The event takes place on Dec 11th from 17.30-19.00 at the TH Köln, campus Deutz in room Raum ZS-05-14a.


New volume of Integrative Risk and Security Research online: Recovery after extreme events – Lessons learned and remaining challenges in Disaster Risk Reduction

IRSR_Volume2_2017_Recovery after extreme events_Lessons learned and remaining challenges in Disaster Risk Reduction

Screenshot 2017-11-20 09.45.11Disasters such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004, but also other extreme events such as cyclones, earthquakes and tsunami substantially affect the lives of many thousands of people – they are events radically and abruptly changing local circumstances and needs. At the same time they can significantly reshape global paradigms of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Such events also bring to light the challenges in coordinating assistance from the “global community” with all the intended and un-intended effects. Two of the most pressing questions therefore are whether the different actors have learned from the disaster and whether processes of DRR and livelihood improvements have been implemented successfully.

This volume of Integrative Risk and Security Research gathers selected papers addressing the following key questions:

  • Lessons learned: Which lessons have been learned in a way that a difference can be seen today for the livelihoods and resilience of local people in the regions affected?
  • Lessons to be Learned: Despite the body of knowledge created and reflected in a good number of lessons learned studies – what is still unsolved or needs to be emphasized?
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Which DRR measures have been perpetuated and how can they be monitored and evaluated scientifically? – Resilience effects and (unintended) side-effects: Which coping, recovery and adaptation measures are supported by the resilience paradigm and which other areas are side-lined, neglected or even contrary to the intended effects?
  • Dynamics in risk: In which cases has resilience building taken place? In which cases have vulnerabilities been shifted internally or new vulnerabilities been created? – Relocation/resettlement: How did the relocation/resettlement process of displaced people take place and what are its long-term effects?
  • Urban-rural divide: How have DRR measures in urban vs. rural areas differed and which linkages but also rifts in rehabilitation and reconstruction initiatives can be observed between the two?
  • Early warning: What is the future of Early Warning and how can important top-down information chains benefit from or be balanced with bottom-up feedback of users and affected people?

It appears that extreme disaster events spark a plethora of actions in academia, civil society, media, policy, private sector and other organisations. Tragic, as such disasters are, they offer incentives for learning, locally and globally. Lately, disaster impacts have in many cases been detracted through the application of knowledge and experience gained from previous events. However, there are still a number of challenges with regards to learning from past disasters.


Risky Monday Session: chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warfare protection

The TH Köln University of Applied Sciences – Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection – welcomd in context of the lecture series “Risky Monday” on November 6th, 220171106_174305017 Jan Bremer from Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) presented competences of the BBK in context of national and international chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warfare protection.

We thank Mr. Bremer very much for this interesting presentation.

For more information please contact Celia Norf celia.norf(at)th-koeln.de


Event, crowd and visitor safety and security

The latest batch of our advanced training course for professionals, ‘Visitor Safety and Security’ („Fachplaner Besuchersicherheit) in German language started on Oct 13th 2017. The 25 participants have a background ranging from public administration, police and security, event safety companies and a few university students. The project work task for the participants consists of developing a `safety and security concept’ („Sicherheitskonzept“) for a major sports event planned in a major city in Germany. Courses are covering aspects of real cases of event planning and management, legal aspects, sociology, psychology, communication, risk assessment and management, and others. The next batch, applications, fees and more information can be found at:

We are also active in the field of event safety and security, crowd management etc in the ‘Working Group Event Safety and Security’ (AGVS)

Related publication from this group: Event Security – A Culture of Responsibility (2017)

New Sessions of Risky Monday

The TH Köln University of Applied Sciences – Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection – welcomes you to new sessions of  lecture series “Risky Monday on interdisciplinary risk and crisis management.
We invite experts from different scientific and practical fields to share their experience and to discuss respective challenges and opportunities.


Internal as well as external visitors are always very welcome!

For more information or suggestions about future topics please contact Celia Norf (celia.norf(a)th-koeln.de) and have a look at https://wordpress.com/page/riskncrisis.wordpress.com/630



BigWa presented on social media/spontaneous helpers congress at the Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Protection (AKNZ)

From September 21 to 22, the conference “Social Media, spontaneous helpers and law in civil protection” (” Durch Social Media organisierte Spontanhelfer /ungebundene Helfer und Bevölkerungsschutz. Spontanhelfer/ungebundene Helfer und das Recht”) took place at the Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Protection (AKNZ). Experts from research, public authorities/organizations that perform security tasks, administrations and civic associations discussed problems and possible solutions. Jan Bäumer presented the interdisciplinary Research Area “Civil Protection in societal change” there with, participated in different discussions, such as problems with data protection by using Social Media Monitoring Tools or new technical/organizational solutions to integrate spontaneous helpers in disaster management. All participants of the conference got many interesting inputs from the practical as well as from scientific point of view: As Example the fire brigade Frankfurt am Main, a representative from the Working group of the heads of professional fire brigades in the Federal Republic of Germany or the THW spoke about their experiences with the use of social media and spontaneous helpers in situations like the terror act in Munich in July 2016, the biggest defusing of a world war II bomb in Frankfurt in September 2017 or in  flooding situations. Different scientist presented their new Tools, like KUBAS from the Martin-Luther university Halle-Wittenberg, which functions as a mediating between spontaneous helpers and authorities/organizations that perform security tasks. So both sides can report their needs or supply possibilities and the system tells them, where to go or what to do and respectively, who provides help. On the second day the focus was on legal problems, like insurance possibilities or data security.

Homepage of the Research Area: http://bigwa.web.th-koeln.de