20 emergency management officers from the Mediterranean Civil Protection Authorities will gather in Morocco to focus on the importance of simulation exercises as a practical, efficient, and cost effective way to prepare for crisis response. This workshop is the closing event of a comprehensive training, which took place in three previous steps, on how to prepare a civil protection simulation exercise organized by the EU-funded regional Programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South).
During the workshop, participants will review the fundamentals of the full scale exercises RICHTER 2012 in France and Spain and IPA CRO FLOODS in Croatia to which they participated earlier as observers during the previous steps. These exercises, funded by the European Civil Protection Mechanism, allowed PPRD South Partner Countries representatives to better learn the implementing procedures of an international exercise, the functioning of the European Civil Protection Mechanism and the inter-operability of its crises management modules deployed in the field.
Gen. Mohamed Al Yaaghoubi, General Director of the Moroccan General Directorate of Civil Protection and Franco Gabrielli, Head of the Italian Civil Protection Department will open the final session of the training workshop. They will highlight the value of conducting exercises in close cooperation with each other which, although very demanding in terms of preparation and deployment of resources, are worth the effort. Those exercises help identifying areas of proficiency of the national civil protection system and those that need improvement. Lessons learnt from those exercises can be used to revise operational plans and provide a basis for training to improve expertise in executing such plans.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism was created in 2001. It coordinates European countries' assistance to disaster-stricken countries. Preparedness is a key feature of its work. It involves imagining all kinds of scenarios in advance and holding international field exercises on a regular basis to improve the inter-operability of the resources made available by the Member States.
The 5-million Euro PPRD South Programme runs for three years and is managed by a consortium led by the Italian Civil Protection Department together with the French, Algerian, Egyptian Civil Protection Authorities and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). In the field of disaster response, it also organised training and simulation exercises focusing on 'crisis management', 'operational planning' and 'use of new technologies'.