Joint Experiments and Final Demonstration

Joint Experiments and Final Demonstration

The main objective of the Joint Experiments is to test novel solutions in scenarios that are as realistic and as relevant as possible to the crisis management community.

DRIVER is designed to support the strengthening of the European Crisis Management structure in a number of clearly identified areas. Functions and gaps being addressed have been selected, based on research into previous projects and the work in the core thematic areas of the project. The following criteria were used to select the scenarios for the Joint Experiments and the Final Demonstration:

  • Scale: The selected scenarios must enable the participants to test the selected solutions and procedures
  • Impact on society
  • Practitioner requests
  • Prevalent disaster events
  • Topics of the latest EU funded exercises

Even though almost any scenario could be used to test the DRIVER solutions in the Joint Experiments, it is important that the scenarios are perceived as both interesting and relevant by the practitioners and other stakeholders involved.

  • Joint Experiment 1 - Flooding Scenario: The flood will have an initial impact on the affected population, followed by cascading effects on critical infrastructure.

  • While Joint Experiment 1 will potentially cover all levels in the chain of command (from local to pan-European), it has a clear focus on the local and regional levels and on the preparation and response phases of crisis management.

  • Joint Experiment 2 - Heat Wave Scenario: The heat wave will result in a multitude of cascading effects, including multiple forest fires threatening and affecting urban infrastructure and critical infrastructure (e.g. power grid).

  • Joint Experiment 2 will address the potential operational benefit of a more integrated European Civil Protection solution. The scale and nature of the crisis will impact across several countries’ borders, thereby involving crisis managers at all levels of the chain of command and causing the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to be activated.

There have not been any EU exercises in recent years that have focused on heat waves and their effects. However 101 heat waves were observed between 1998 and 2009, causing 77,551 fatalities and incurring 9,962 billion EUR in losses (Source).

From the statistics it can be concluded that floods are the most frequently occurring type of disaster in Europe, affecting the most amount of people and causing huge amounts of damage (Source). Heat waves occur half as often with half the amount of damage compared to floods, however they cause the highest amount of fatalities of all types of natural disasters.

Figure: The iterative process towards the design of the Joint Experiments

Usually, new solutions in Crisis Management are demonstrated and evaluated in large-scale exercises rather than in experiments. The main feature of experimentation is to test hypotheses and new ideas to improve cooperation, while exercises are merely used to practice cooperation with the aim of improved protection of the population.

The DRIVER activities are closely related to other projects and exercises previously funded by the European Union, so past and planned crisis management exercises at European and national level have been taken into account when selecting the scenarios for the Joint Experiments.

Final Demonstration

The culmination of the project will then be a Final Demonstration in 2018 that brings together the most successful DRIVER solutions in a practical way that demonstrates to as wide an audience as possible how they have been shown to improve crisis management in a large-scale catastrophe affecting much of Europe.

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