The 2008 TIEMS annual conference takes place on the background of the recent earthquake in China and cyclone in Myanmar, disasters which have resulted in over 200,000 causalities and which have left millions of people homeless and in need of humanitarian assistance. I like to express my deepest sympathy with the Chinese and Myanmar people and their families who have lost or are missing loved ones after these catastrophic events.

These disasters remind us again however of the vulnerability of the world and its population to natural disasters. They also demonstrate the need for comprehensive risk assessment and emergency management arrangement, to reduce their consequences.

It is encouraging to see so many paper presented this year about natural disasters and their mitigation, and these presentations will Iím sure be extremely valuable for all involved in this important work. We feel that open international gatherings like the TIEMS annual conference, give an excellent opportunity for exchange of ideas and discussions on ways to make the world a safer place, and encourage increased international cooperation disasters, which rarely respect borders.

Our annual conference in Prague, Czech Republic is the TIEMS 15th annual conference, and it is a pleasure to be in this historic and beautiful city. The program is the best ever with close to ninety presentations from all over the world, and we are very pleased with the presence of representatives from the Czech government in the opening ceremony. I also hope the new program concept, including among others a simulation exercise, with active involvement of the participants, provides valuable experience to all that take part.

The number of participants this year is expected to be around two hundred, representing approx twenty-five different countries, demonstrating again an excellent international foundation for TIEMS, and a program which is of interest far beyond the authors themselves.

The published papers in the proceedings, which will be delivered this year on CD, should give a broad international view of international emergency management, and with these proceedings TIEMS like to stimulate to a continuous ongoing international dialogue on emergency management. Many thanks go to Nils Rosmuller for doing an excellent job as Chairman of the Paper Review Committee, and all its members in reviewing the papers, and trust that the presenters at TIEMS 2008 appreciate this quality product of the event.

TIEMS is an international, non-political, and non-profit society and has limited financial resources. As a result TIEMS 2008 in Prague has not been possible in the form it is presented without the financial support and help of the participants and sponsors, for which TIEMS is thankful to all of you.

Thanks finally go to T-Soft, Jaroslav Pejcoch and their staff who have in collaboration with the local organizer, Carolina, preparing all practical arrangement and social events for the conference.

Organising the conference has been hectic at times, but seeing the fruitful result of the work, is very satisfying, and we hope you will greatly enjoy the event.

K. Harald Drager
TIEMS President

"Proceedings Published by Carolina under the Authority of The International Emergency Management Society"
the copyright will of course remain as TIEMS.
© 2008 TIEMS, The International Emergency Management Society  |  Produced by: Agentura Carolina, Ltd. & R-INCON, Ltd.