How do you know if the all the planning and procedures you put in place will work when an emergency or disaster hits?

To ensure that you, your community, or your organisation, are fully prepared it is important that those people who will be involved in the response or management of an emergency have the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice.

This is where the use of a well-constructed exercise, appropriate to the skills and experience of your team can be of great benefit.

Providing your team with an opportunity to test what they have learnt in a simulated emergency environment allows them to become familiar with their role as well as the tools developed to assist them. It also provides an opportunity to test the procedures and planning that have been put in place by using them to manage a simulated event, so any modifications needed can be made before they are put to use managing a real event.

There are a number of different options for exercising that can be used depending on your needs. Some of the options that can be used are:


  • Scenario Cards – designed to be used by the client with their team as a quick refresher
  • Rehearsals – an opportunity to show how to use what has just been covered in training
  • Desktops – stakeholders and/or team members managing the response to a simulated emergency through facilitated discussion.
  • Partial Mock – usually involves activating the team to manage a simulated emergency over an extended period with little if any on-site response.
  • Full Simulation Exercises – a large scale emergency exercise usually involving a simulated on-site incident that requires the response and involvement of multiple teams often over an extended period of time.

These exercises can involve multiple external teams or a number of external stakeholders depending on your requirements and what you are trying to test.