Situational Awareness in the Philippines

January 10, 2015

Emergency Operations (EMOPS) System Supports Balikatan Exercise in the Philippines

As populations increase, more people are exposed to hazards, and large, growing cities face numerous challenges when responding to a disaster. Preparing for these challenges through exercise and simulation is an essential step in acting effectively and efficiently when a real event occurs.

Balikatan is an annual joint exercise of the Republic of the Philippines and the United States aimed at improving civil-military coordination for disaster preparedness. In 2012, the 28th Balikatan Exercise focused on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) training and included simulating a catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami impacting metropolitan Manila.

PDC’s DisasterAWARE® decision support system was used as the situational awareness tool during the exercise. Through EMOPS, the professional disaster management version of DisasterAWARE, exercise players displayed the exercise scenario, visualized the location of damage and support units, and shared information. In addition, PDC staff conducted DisasterAWARE training with disaster management agencies and military representatives from the Philippines, the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. The activities helped reinforce good practices, identify gaps in coordination and national disaster management capabilities, and uncover possible solutions.

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