“Hurricane strikes Sorland, more than two million people affected, 621 confirmed dead. There is a severe shortage of food and drinking water. The Malteser International emergency team are on the ground and supporting international aid efforts…”
It sounds like a real crisis press release, but it is actually simulated information received from the five-person Malteser International team taking part in Triplex 16, the world’s largest civilian-led disaster simulation, in Norway. Around 450 staff from organizations such as the UN, ECHO, as well as national and international civil protection and aid agencies from 73 countries are taking part. Along with the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, Malteser International is the only German-based organization participating.
The five-day event has been organized by the International Humanitarian Partnership – a committee of national civil protection organizations. Its first part comprises a range of workshops for the participants on current topics in humanitarian aid. The workshops are to be followed by a large-scale simulated disaster over three days in Lista, Norway. The exercises are designed to combine newly-learned techniques with existing experience, to hone the skills of individual participants, and improve cooperation between organizations.
During a real emergency, like the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, it is important that there is no logistical or organizational friction between aid agencies, because this can very quickly lead to the loss of lives. Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, said of the exercises: “The simulation is very detailed and highly realistic. It is hugely interesting. This experience has brought us together as a team, and really helped us to optimize our processes.