SimEx Series 2018

Three days, 18 sites, 900 actors, 3,000 participants.

The annual SIMEX Series exercise, which started in 2012 is the UK’s largest annual international disaster response exercise and this year RedR UK took a leading role in its facilitation. 

This year’s exercise took place across 18 sites in Hampshire and involve more than 3,000 people (including over 900 role players) and 64 local, national and international emergency response organisations, including:

  • the United Nations (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
  • the Department for International Development (DFID)
  • the Police Casualty Bureau
  • the British Red Cross
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency 

“This major disaster simulation shows the life-saving work of International Search and Rescue and the Emergency Medical Teams in action. The UK has led the response to some of the world’s biggest recent humanitarian disasters and this exercise shows DFID’s experts working in partnership to make sure our responses to crises around the world are bigger, better and faster to help save more lives. It will also make sure our emergency services are ready and have capacity to respond to events here in the UK.”

Penny Mordaunt

International Development Secretary and Portsmouth MP

Emergency response

This year’s disaster simulation was based around a major hurricane that brought heavy winds, rains and storm surge resulting in coastal and inland flooding, environmental pollution, major infrastructure damage and displacement of people.

Scenarios included an oil tanker breaking loose from its mooring and crashing into a refinery causing a major oil spill, the rescue of 100 casualties from Solent Water, the rescue of dozens of children from a collapsed school and an influx of refugees fleeing from the storm.

Emergency response

RedR Trainees in the field

Participants from RedR UK's Effective Humanitarian Response training also took part in SimEx as part of the international response to the exercise. Trainees worked together as an NGO, coordinating with other NGOs as well as INGOs. They took part in cluster and coordination meetings, conducted needs assesments and responded to affected IDPs and refugees, as well as developing a funding proposal to support their work, all while living and working in challenging field conditions. 

RedR Trainees in the field