Planning and executing scenario based simulation exercises: Methodological lessons

Authors: Le Roux, T. et al.

Journal: Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 193-210

Publisher: De Gruyter

The South African disaster management legislation advocates the importance of implementing pro-active disaster risk reduction strategies that will ensure a safe and sustainable society. One key strategic activity identified is the use of simulation exercises to improve overall societal readiness and inter-agency coordination in case of major incidents or disasters. However, very little is currently understood or planned especially at South African local government level, on what simulation exercises entail and the methodology behind their implementation. This paper aims at conveying some crucial methodological inputs that disaster risk managers or emergency response agencies should consider when planning, designing and implementing simulation exercises by analysing a hazardous chemical spillage simulation in the Tlokwe Local Municipality, North-West Province, South Africa. The research found that in the South African context attention needs to be paid to methodological issues such as scenario development, role-player selection, fidelity during simulation delivery, data collection and participant (de)briefing.

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