National Response Plan – Table Top Exercise
Within the framework of the implementation of the National Response Plan (NRP), the request of the Prime Minister and decision of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) formed by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and whose main mandate includes coordinating disaster response, a table top exercise which is considered the first of its kind in Lebanon was prepared with the objective of testing the NRP in terms in inter-ministerial coordination in the event of a disaster.
The table top exercise was implemented on the 30th of October 2013 at the Grand Serail with the participation of Prime Minister Mikati, President of the NCC and Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for the defense General Kheir, UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda, members of the NCC including the director generals of the concerned agencies, members of the technical committee, Army command operations, representatives of the Internal Security Forces, Civil defense, Lebanese Red Cross, Beirut Fire Brigade, and the DRM Unit Manager and team.
The importance of the table top exercise can be highlighted by the fact that it ensures a holistic management approach and strategic coordination in response to disasters that caters to the needs, and maximizes the impact in the management of resources, information and disaster mitigation.
The exercise which reflected response to a man-made disaster of an explosion was characterized by its professionalism and the serious work in preparing the simulation which puts into practice the different roles and responsibilities of concerned agencies and highlights the importance of conducting trainings on of this kind of exercise to increase disaster preparedness in the future. The importance of this exercise also lies in the cooperation and work among all concerned agencies and bodies in one place through a National Operations Room to coordinate response and unify efforts.
As a result of the successful exercise and directly after the explosion that took place in Jnah, the Prime Minister called the NCC to an urgent meeting as part of response plan. Currently UNDP is supporting the government in equipping the National Operations Room for natural and man-made disasters management so it can be fully functional and operational.