Authorities and emergency services carry out multidisciplinary exercises at least once a year in each municipality or province. The different intervention services are responsible for practising their mono-disciplinary intervention plans. The special emergency and intervention plans, for example for nuclear or major accident hazards, must also be practised on a regular basis.
There are 3 types of exercises:
- Tabletop exercises: all partners that are part of a crisis cell sit around a table. They discuss how they would act in reality.
- Command post exercises: different crisis cells practise the same scenario at the same time and have to cooperate with each other.
- Field exercises: an emergency situation is staged. All necessary personnel and resources are deployed.
Such exercises help to test (new) procedures, evaluate their feasibility and familiarise all actors with their role in the crisis management. Emergency planning exercises always follow a set methodology:
- description of the objectives
- elaboration of an exercise scenario
- evaluation of the exercise objectives
- formulation of points for improvement and their incorporation into the emergency and intervention plans