Based in and around Portsmouth, Hampshire the SimEx series of exercises have taken place annually over 5 years, growing from being a small event to the large scale multinational, multi-agency exercise it is today, Europe's largest Disaster response exercise.
The exercise comprises a mix of live, simulation and command and control events in order to provide a neutral platform to test both national and international emergency response mechanisms.
The overall aims of the exercise comprise:
1. International and national response capacity development
2. Promote coordination of humanitarian/public assistance and research
3. Evaluation of emergency management systems including institutional and legal frameworks presented by the participating organisations
All SimEx activities are guided by the four humanitarian principles:
These principles provide the foundations for humanitarian action internationally and are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected people, whether in a natural disaster or a complex emergency, such as armed conflict. Nationally in the UK principles for emergency response and recovery arrangements should be flexible and tailored to reflect circumstances, following a common set of 8 underpinning principles
The exercise series strives to further develop a shared understanding of the multi-agency framework for emergency response and recovery at the local level, and the roles and responsibilities of individual organisations in accordance to the 8 principles.
This year, the participating organisations include; SARAID, @Fire, University of Portsmouth, The United Nations OHCR, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Border Force, ServeON, The Dept for International Development, South Central Ambulance Service, 4x4 Response, RNLI, HM Coastguard, The Red Cross and Team Rubicon.
The team have no idea how the situation will develop over the week, but we do know they will be kept busy and their skills and expertise fully tested!