19 October 2020
3 WATCH OUT, a report of the table-top exercise carried out in Bari

Within the cross-border project 3 WATCH OUT "Trilateral model of civil protection: WAys, Tools and CHallenges for OUr safeTy" - funded for 979 400.00 euros by the Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro Programme,  Axis 3 - on 16 October 2020 a table-top exercise (TTX) was carried out, which involved the territory of the province of Bari and simulated an earthquake at a depth of 18 km and with a magnitude of Mw = 4.5.

The exercise, organized by the Puglia Region - Civil Protection Department, with the Prefecture of Bari and in collaboration with the National Department of Civil Protection, took place together with the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). It aimed at testing the communication flows among the Regional Civil Protection Department (SOIR, CFD and COREM), the Prefecture which activated the Rescue Coordination Centre (CCS), the Provincial Command of the Fire Fighters of Bari, the Provincial Coordination of Associations of Voluntary Service of the Province of Bari, the 118 of Bari-BAT Province and local authorities (in details, Municipalities of Altamura and Santeramo), in order to make the Apulian civil protection system more and more efficient in the national, European and cross-border context.

The Municipalities of Altamura and Santeramo in Colle have activated their own Municipal Operational Centres (COC) by activating the phases foreseen by the correspondent municipal emergency plans, in close connection with the regional SOIR and the CCS of the Prefecture of Bari.
The activation of the regional COREM and the Union Mechanism of European Civil Protection were simulated, through the National Department of Civil Protection, with which the objectives of the exercise were shared.

The TTX related to seismic risk was organized in order to test local, regional, national and international procedures in case of earthquakes. Since Montenegro, Albania and Italy have a common risk of natural or man-made disasters, any kind of training and exercises of authorities and stakeholders is advantageous and necessary.

The table-top exercise (TTX) 2020 was the opportunity for the entire regional Civil Protection System to test an intervention model on the territory based on cooperation and the correct sharing of roles and tasks, as well as to verify actually available and feasible resources in case of real emergency.

The exercise also provided local authorities with the opportunity to verify the validity of their emergency plans and to test the effectiveness of the planned communication flows.

During the exercise, national operational measures consistent with the management of the epidemiological emergency COVID-19 were adopted, and, in particular, the communications through videoconferencing systems between the Prefecture and Regional Civil Protection Department were stimulated and tested.